Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

'Fake' Chemical Attack Filmed in Syria, Russian Military Claims

Turkey deploys military vehicles to Syria Humanitarian crisis worsens in Syria as crippling assault on Idlib continues
Faye Gross | 14 September, 2018, 15:35

Haley warned Assad and his allies that any assault on Idlib would be considered "reckless" by the U.S. and "the consequences will be dire".

She told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that "Russia has the power to stop the catastrophe looming in Idlib".

According to US officials who have cited intelligence reports, Syrian President Bashar al Assad has approved the use of chlorine gas in the upcoming military operations in Idlib, The Wall Street Journal reported September 9.

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

Yesterday, the United Nations warned that a large-scale military operation against Idlib could create "the worst humanitarian catastrophe with the biggest loss of life in the 21st century".

Idlib, which straddles the Turkish border, is mostly under the control of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) - a battle-hardened umbrella group of jihadists led by Al-Qaeda's former Syrian affiliate.

Washington claims that the Syrian government forces may carry out a chemical weapons attack in Idlib and warned that such actions will have serious consequences.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday's airstrikes on Idlib and Hama provinces forced some people to flee their homes.

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Senior Turkish officials, who wished to remain anonymous, last week told MEE that Ankara feared that a new offensive in Idlib would disrupt its plans to send refugees now living in Turkey back to northwest Syria by the end of the year.

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

Kalin said Turkey expects all parties to make "constructive" contributions and agree on a political solution on Syria.

HTS is considered a terrorist group by Russian Federation and Turkey, with Russian Federation and the Syrian government using the group's presence in the area as one of the main justifications for its assault. "That's something we're monitoring very closely", OCHA spokesman David Swanson told the AFP news agency.

Roughly half of the displaced are staying in camps, Dujarric said.

The UN has said as many as 800,000 people could be displaced by a regime assault on Idlib and surrounding areas.

The conflict's three powerbrokers - regime allies Russian Federation and Iran and rebel backer Turkey - agreed at a summit last week to "stabilise" Idlib, but few details emerged on how they would do it.

The opposition accuses Russian Federation and its allies of striking at hospitals and civil defence centres to force rebels to surrender in a repeat of earlier, large-scale military offensives.

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