USA rips Russia, Iran, Assad regime amid Idlib offensive

USA rips Russia, Iran, Assad regime amid Idlib offensive

USA rips Russia, Iran, Assad regime amid Idlib offensive

About 2,000 US troops are now operating in Syria, majority in the eastern region of the country.

Idlib marks the latest critical juncture in a seven-year conflict that's killed more than half a million people.

Real chemicals would be used to make the footage appear more authentic and also to provide samples of allegedly contaminated soil from the scene, the ministry said.

The rebel-held region of Idlib and adjacent areas are home to nearly three million people, half of whom have been displaced from other areas in the country, according to the UN.

The footage was filmed by several Middle Eastern news channel crews and one unnamed US broadcaster, the Defense Ministry said.

Damascus, backed by allies Russian Federation and Iran, has been preparing a major assault to recover Idlib and adjacent areas of northwest Syria from rebels.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday called on Russian Federation and Iran to halt a looming "humanitarian disaster" in Idlib, saying Syrians there could not be left to the mercy of President Bashar al-Assad. "The consequences of inaction are vast", Erdogan said in the article titled "The World Must Stop Assad".

Idlib and nearby areas are largely controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an alliance led by Al-Qaeda's former Syrian affiliate, as well as rival rebels.

The video was published just days after a trilateral summit in Tehran, attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian and Turkish counterparts, to discuss the situation in Idlib, ahead of the Syrian Army's impending offensive.

Violence in Syria's Idlib and the adjacent province of Hama has forced more than 30,000 people out of their homes this month alone, a United Nations spokesman told AFP Monday.

The UN has said around 800,000 people could be displaced if a full-scale attack is carried out.

The world can not leave Syrian people to the mercy of Bashar Assad as his regime only seeks to wipe out its opposition in Idlib with its latest offensive, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in an opinion piece to Wall Street Journal published on Monday.

The Observatory said Saturday that some 2,000 people were already on the move from areas being bombed, heading deeper into Idlib province.

"We had come (to Idlib) without anything", he said.

Syria has been ravaged since 2011 by a complex civil war, implicating many foreign powers, that has claimed more than 350,000 lives to date.

On Monday, its humanitarian chief made an urgent appeal.

Erdogan on Friday said Turkey couldn't cope with more Syrian refugees, referring to more than 3.5 million people scattered across the country.

He called instead for an "international counterterrorism operation" in cooperation with Turkish-backed opposition factions to weed out groups like Hayat Tahrir al-Sham that have been blacklisted by the worldwide community.

Abu al-Baraa al-Hamawi, a rebel leader in northern Hama, said about 95 percent of people had left a number of villages in northern and western Hama province and in southern Idlib province in the last three days due to intensive air strikes.

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