Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

U.N. Chief Says a 'Bloodbath' Must be Averted in Syria's Idlib

U.N. Chief Says a 'Bloodbath' Must be Averted in Syria's Idlib

In an article in the Wall Street Journal published on Tuesday, Erdogan echoed the UN's concerns about a potential humanitarian crisis, adding that an attack on the last rebel-held province would affect Turkey, Europe and beyond.

Almost half of Idlib's population of 2.9 million people had gone there to seek refuge from conflict elsewhere in Syria, including nearly 1 million children.

Last week's summit in Tehran between the three sides did not produce any agreement, as Iran and Russian Federation rejected Turkey's call for a continued ceasefire in the rebel bastion.

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.

The United Nations warned last week that an operation would lead to the "worst humanitarian catastrophe in the 21st century". Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

At least nine people were killed, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. "We can not leave the Syrian people to the mercy of Bashar Assad", Erdogan wrote in the WSJ.

The call comes as Russia, Iran and the Assad regime increase military operations in Idlib amid fears of a humanitarian catastrophe there. British forces are working with some of the terrorist groups to set up the false-flag provocation, the Russian Ministry of Defense has alleged.

Moderate Syrian opposition groups are the main force now controlling Idlib.

Turkey, which now hosts some 3.5 million refugees, has also said that it could not accommodate any more migrants if an attack on Idlib caused a new surge of refugees towards its border.

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"In a complex place like Idlib, traditional counter-terrorism methods would not yield the desired results".

With extensive Turkish support, efforts have been underway to organize FSA groups north of Aleppo into a unified force known as the "National Army" numbering some 30,000 fighters.

Idlib is the insurgents' only remaining major stronghold and a government offensive could be the war's last decisive battle.

"The world will hold them responsible", she told the Security Council. They are believed to be holding them in the Safaa area.

"We as humanitarian advocates must raise our voice", said Jens Laerke from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

"We will not allow Iran, through the facade of the Astana Process, to hijack the future of the Syrian people", added Haley.

"We are working with Russian Federation and Iran on this situation in order not to experience another Aleppo case".

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned of the consequences to the West of the offensive on Tuesday.

"The attack being prepared by the Syrian regime with Russia's backing is extremely risky", he added.

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