Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Idlib offensive could spark 21st century's worst humanitarian catastrophe, United Nations says

A woman who fled her village in Syria's Idlib province carries a child at a camp in Kafr Lusin near the border with Turkey in the northern part of the province Here's What the New US Strategy in Syria Means For Russia
Jeannette Daniel | 14 September, 2018, 08:19

As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. "Why do we have to kill so many civilians?"

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

Help us grow and continue telling Israel's story to the world. Russian Federation has openly backed the Syrian government's efforts to combat the various terrorist groups operating in its territory, many of which are funded, financed, and supported by Western intelligence agencies in their not-so-covert war against Assad.

Air strikes and bombings would trigger a "massive wave of refugees and tremendous security risks for Turkey, the rest of Europe and beyond", he warned. "We are on the eve of a considerable humanitarian and security catastrophe", Le Drian said.

It added that "the munitions documented were built around industrially-produced Iranian artillery rockets known to have been supplied to forces commanded by the government".

A second rebel commander said: "They are getting new shipments of munitions - they don't need more than munitions".

"The Turks are making sure they have enough munitions that keep them going for a long while", he added.

Turkish officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

More news: Spurs coach Pochettino ruled out 4 stars from Liverpool tie

But Russian and Syrian regime air raids on Idlib have intensified in recent days, with a hospital among the targets.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests, which erupted as part of the Arab Spring uprisings, with unexpected ferocity.

USA officials have said in recent days they have evidence that Syrian government forces are preparing chemical weapons ahead of a planned assault on Idlib.

It is unclear when the offensive will formally begin and what impact the fall of Idlib could have on Turkish-controlled Afrin and the northern provinces controlled by the US-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

He pointed out that Turkey, which supports the opposition groups in Idlib, has tried to dismantle the group in an attempt to avoid a military strike on Idlib. "In this sense, a military operation in Idlib would only play into the hands of terrorists", he said.

But Turkey is now looking to use the area as a potential refuge for civilians trapped in Idlib if it is unable to secure a buffer zone for civilians along the border in the event of a full-scale assault by pro-Syrian government forces.

"In order for our efforts to succeed, guarantees must be given to civilians and moderate opposition groups that they will not be targeted once they separate from terrorists", Sinirlioglu said. Turkey has taken in 3.5 million refugees from its neighbour.

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