US warns Syria against ruthless offensive in Idlib

US President Donald Trump has issued a warning to Syria against conducting an offensive in Idlib as the forces of the Syrian regime prepare for the final assault to retake the rebel-held stronghold. President Trump tweeted, “President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province.  The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don’t let that happen”.

Idlib is the last hold of rebels in Syria, which the Syrian regime is all prepared to wrestle back. Syrian regime is backed by both Russian and Iranian forces in the offensive.

The warning has come after a surprise visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to Syria where the latter told media that areas under the control of rebels must be cleansed out and brought back under the governmental control.

US Secretary of State had stated earlier in the week that any attack on Idlib will be considered as an escalation of the conflict and warned that US will give a befitting response to any chemical attacks carried out by Syria.

US ambassador to UN, Nikki Haley also tweeted that, “All eyes on the actions of Assad, Russia and Iran in Idlib. # No Chemical Weapons”. The visit of Iranian Foreign Minister to Syria is seen as a preparation for the upcoming Summit of leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey in Tehran to discuss the developments in Idlib. Turkey has supported anti-Assad rebels since long and also has troops housed in Idlib as on an Observation Mission.

 

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