Turkey Masses Troops on Syrian Border, Braces for New Refugees

11 September, 2018, 09:28 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Intense air raids reported on edge of Syria's rebel-held Idlib

"We have brought the Syrian opposition to the negotiating table in Geneva and launched the Astana process alongside Russian Federation and Iran", he said, adding Turkey consequently managed "to broker ceasefires, create de-escalation zones and evacuate civilians from areas under regime attack".

Trump "has been clear on the consequences for the use of chemical weapons", Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Saturday.

The United Nations and human-rights groups have pleaded against any military offensive in fear of unprecedented bloodshed.

At a council meeting also on Friday, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia defended the military plans for Idlib, saying armed groups linked to Al-Qaeda were "a legitimate target for liquidation".

Some three million people live in the zone now, about half of them already displaced by the brutal seven-year war and others heavily dependent on humanitarian aid to survive.

But the U.S. Government still demands "victory" there; and, so, the world stands at the brink of WW III, the war to end all wars and (unlike its two predecessors) to end ourselves.

The administration is "trying to send a clear warning" to the Assad regime, said Melissa Dalton, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Erdoğan said the USA, which is focused on chemical attacks by the Assad regime, needed to "reject its arbitrary hierarchy of death". It is also alarmed by efforts by US -backed Kurdish YPG forces - regarded by Ankara as an affiliate of PKK separatists it has been battling for decades - to recapture northern areas held by Turkish forces.

If chemical weapons are used, National Security Adviser John Bolton promised the US would deliver a counterattack that's even more severe than the two previous assaults authorized by Trump.

For weeks, regime troops backed by Russian Federation and Iran have massed around Idlib's periphery, with deadly air strikes, shelling, and barrel bombs particularly building up in recent days. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. The U.S. still has 2,200 troops in northeast Syria.

Assad used chemical weapons again in the western Syrian town of Douma, nearly a year later. "Don't let that happen!" Washington's reticence let Russian President Vladimir Putin assert the Kremlin's influence over the conflict.

The British Embassy also called Black's charges "nonsense" and accused him of relaying propaganda from "Russia and the Assad regime".

Pointing out that the regime's indiscriminate attacks are "not a genuine or effective campaign against terrorism", Erdoğan once again highlighted the importance of a complete cease-fire in the region.

"I am happy with the reports about an indefinite stay", O'Hanlon said, but added: "We also need a more realistic political strategy, explicitly and publicly, that ties everything together and lays out a vision and recognizes the reality of Assad's continued rule, at least in some of the country, at least for a while".

Kurdish security forces, known as Asayish, said in a statement that a government patrol entered the areas controlled by the Kurdish militia in Qamishli and began arresting civilians, then shot at a Kurdish checkpoint sparking the gun battle.

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