Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Iranian forces arrive in Syria to fight in Idlib

Iranian forces arrive in Syria to fight in Idlib

Worldwide calls mounted on Wednesday (Sep 5) to avoid a "massacre" by regime forces in Syria's last rebel-held province of Idlib, two days before a summit between key powers backing the government and opposition.

Shortly after his arrival, Erdoğan and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani held a bilateral meeting ahead of their summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. As photographers took pictures of the three leaders Rouhani, smiling, reached for both of their hands. "The Turks have shown a great deal of resistance to an attack", he said.

Erdogan continued by saying that a rational solution in Idlib that will address everyone's concerns needs to found.

Russian and Iranian support has been key to the regime's successes.

But regime backers Russian Federation and Iran have sworn to wipe out "terrorists" and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has declared his determination to retake control of the entire country.

"The Tehran summit can produce peace and reconciliation in Syria, or it can deepen the mess created by endless bouts of violence mainly instigated by the Assad regime", İlnur Çevik, a senior adviser to Erdoğan, wrote in the Daily Sabah newspaper.

The province is home to some three million people - around half of them displaced from other parts of the country, according to the United Nations. That also includes an estimated 10,000 militants, including Al Qaeda-linked militants.

The streets of Tehran were quiet on Friday, the second day of the Iranian weekend.

For Turkey, the stakes could not be higher.

Turkey is anxious that an attack on Idlib will trigger a mass exodus of refugees fleeing towards the Turkish border.

A shepherd was also killed and four other people wounded in the bombardment, the Observatory said, although it was not immediately clear if they were fighters or civilians. He said that "any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation" of the war.

"There are no civilians left at all in the targeted villages", Hasan Younis, a member of the White Helmets emergency medical team based in southern Idlib province, said to ABC News.

Turkey also doesn't want to see another YPG/PKK-controlled area rise along its border, as it already faces in northern Iraq.

Russian Federation wants Turkey, which borders the province, to use its influence to rein in the dominant group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, led by the former al-Qaeda branch in Syria, as well as rival rebels.

CNN earlier reported that US military and intelligence experts have prepared a preliminary list of targets for the US airstrike, if US President Donald Trump orders it.

Putin said the Syrian government should regain control over all of its territory.

"The Trump Administration and the global community have made it clear that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict", Haley told the Council, which was to hold another meeting Friday on the crisis in Idlib.

"To fight terrorism in Idlib is inevitable and part of a mission to bring about peace and stability to Syria", he said.

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