Published: Fri, August 31, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Moscow Says Syria Is Ready To Accept One Million Returning Refugees

Moscow Says Syria Is Ready To Accept One Million Returning Refugees

"It's very regrettable", he said.

The manoeuvring came as Russian media accused Britain and the USA of preparing a "false-flag" chemical attack in Idlib to frame the Syrian government and justify a Western attack on its forces.

In an effort to restore calm in the region and improve the humanitarian situation in war-torn Syria, three guarantor states Turkey, Iran, and Russian Federation launched the Astana process on January 23, 2017, establishing de-escalation zones.

Russia, whose 2015 military intervention helped the government reclaim much of the ground it had lost, wants the jihadist outfit to disband, he said.

On Tuesday, U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis said Washington was in "active" communication with Russian Federation about preventing another chemical attack.

Mr de Mistura said both the government and the rebels had the ability to make chlorine-based chemical weapons.

Turkey has intensified contacts with Russian Federation and Iran in recent days amid escalating tension over an impending military operation by the Syrian army into the rebel-held Idlib province of the war-torn country.

The majority of the refugees fled to countries in the region, including Turkey (3.5 million), Lebanon (976,000), Jordan (668,000), Iraq (249,000), and Egypt (130,000). "Their past gestures at humanitarian pauses and corridors have not reduced the suffering caused by Russian and regime attacks".

Taking those areas would bring Assad's regime close to regaining control over highways running from Aleppo to Hama and Latakia, two of Syria's most important pre-war roads.

Antonov expressed to the U.S., Moscow's concerns about U.S. signals of preparing new strikes on Syria on the pretext of possible uses of "chemical weapons" by Syrians. "That is why at every opportunity we say that we should be present on the field, be strong in the field, and succeed at the field", Erdogan said, speaking at a Victory Day reception in capital Ankara.

Turkey, Russia and Iran are now engaged in a diplomatic flurry as they seek a solution to the Idlib conundrum.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday he was "deeply concerned about the growing risks of a humanitarian catastrophe in the event of a full-scale military operation in Idlib".

"There is no other Idlib", de Mistura said, stressing the need to ensure civilians can evacuate to nearby areas under government control, with guarantees their rights will be respected once they get there.

Mr.al-Muallem vowed that Syrian forces would "go all the way" to retake Idlib while insisting that the government would try to minimize civilian casualties, the Al-Jazeera network reported.

Yet even Turkey - which once supported the group as it sought to topple Assad - is unlikely to put much skin in the game.

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