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Syria’s Looming Idlib Offensive Is Stalled by Turkey

Syria’s Looming Idlib Offensive Is Stalled by Turkey

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey had also contacted foreign ministers of several countries and was in touch with "all actors in Syria".

Turkey deployed hundreds of its soldiers to 12 observation posts that ring Idlib, following a de-escalation agreement reached with Russian Federation and Iran a year ago to freeze the lines of the conflict, effectively placing Ankara as a protector of the province.

The battle could bring an end to a seven-year-old uprising-turned-civil war, but at the cost of a humanitarian disaster on a scale yet unseen in the bloody conflict.

Still, a meeting of presidential aides from Russia, Germany, Turkey and France devoted to Syria will take place in Istanbul on Friday.

The shipment entered the Turkey-backed al-Jabha al-Wataniya lil-Tahrir, or the National Front for Liberation, which was formed on August 1 from five rebel factions operating in Idlib and the northern countryside of Hama. "But killing everyone - civilians, women, children - like this in the name of fighting terrorist organizations is not right and is not humane", he said on a visit to Pakistan.

On Monday, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, speaking to reporters in Geneva, said: "There needs to be ways of dealing with this problem that don't turn the next few months in Idlib into the worst humanitarian catastrophe, with the biggest loss of life in the 21st century".




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Thousands of protesters attend a demonstration against the Syrian government offensive to Idlib, in the northwestern town of Maarat al-Numan, also known as al-Maarra, south of Idlib, Syria, Friday, Sept 14, 2018.

Russia-backed forces of the Syrian regime have massed around the Idlib province in recent weeks, sparking fears of an imminent air and ground attack to retake the last major opposition bastion. "Another migrant wave coming to Turkey at a time when we already host millions of refugees will cause other complications", he said".

"It appears that the Russians and the Assad regime have temporarily looked the other way", said one of the sources, Colonel Mustafa Bakour, a commander in the Jaish al-Ezza rebel group.

Lavrov promised: "We will establish humanitarian corridors, set up ceasefire zones and we are doing everything to ensure that the civilian population would not suffer".

U.N. officials have notified Russia, Turkey and the United States of the Global Positioning System coordinates of 235 schools, hospitals and other civilian sites in the Syrian province of Idlib, in the hope the move will help protect them from being attacked.


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