Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Erdogan, UN warn of human catastrophe in Idlib Al Jazeera News

Bolton promises ‘much stronger’ response if chemical weapons used in Syria A US F18 Hornet fighter jet moves into position aboard the USS Harry S. Truman in the eastern Mediterranean Sea
Deanna Wagner | 14 September, 2018, 08:18

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan last week failed to secure a pledge for a ceasefire in Idlib from Russian Federation and Iran, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main backers, at a trilateral summit in Tehran.

"Russia and Iran also rejected similar calls from the United Kingdom and others at the U.N. Security Council on the same day", Burt added. "Our position is rooted in the fact that the situation around Syria's Idlib governorate, where key forces of terrorists are now concentrated, is in focus of attention", the spokesman said.

Other aid organisations also operate in the area, but their support is mostly limited to providing supplies to civilians already living in the existing border camps.

A trilateral summit of the presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran last week underlined that "there could be no military solution to the Syrian conflict" and called for advancing the political process to reach a negotiated solution. The first such summit took place in Russia's Black Sea resort city of Sochi on November 22, 2017. The global community fears Assad and his allies are preparing to carry out a final assault on the province.

Pointing to a USA missile strike on a Syrian air base in April 2017 after Assad's jets launched an alleged chemical attack in Idlib, Mattis noted that the Syrian leader had suffered massive losses to his air force. "He's been warned, and so we'll see if he's wised up".

The Syrian government committed war crimes by using chlorine in three attacks against civilians in 2018, United Nations investigators said in a report released Wednesday.

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The violence in Rakhine has eased but Myanmar now has to deal with its aftermath, especially the repatriation of the Rohingyas. State Department investigation into Myanmar's Rohingya crisis were "consistent" with those of the United Nations report.

Syria's regime and Iran have been building up their forces around Idlib province, the last stronghold of the rebels with fears an assault on the region is imminent.

Abu al-Baraa al-Hamawi, a rebel leader in northern Hama, said about 95 percent of people had left a number of villages in northern and western Hama province and in southern Idlib province in the last three days due to intensive air strikes.

The offensive against rebel-held Idlib looms, and even though there is no real evidence that a chemical weapons attack might happen there, United States officials have been making near daily accusations that this will be the case, and offering ever-more-bellicose threats. The world will hold them responsible.

"We're deeply concerned about this recent escalation of violence, which has resulted in the displacement of over 30,000 in the area".

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

More than half a million people have been killed and 11 million already forced to flee their homes in Syria's seven-year-old war.