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War monitor says Syrian military starts Idlib shelling

War monitor says Syrian military starts Idlib shelling

Iran's foreign minister met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday in a surprise visit to Damascus ahead of a looming regime offensive against the country's last rebel stronghold.

Pro-Assad forces and their allies are thought to be preparing a major offensive against the rebel-held province.

But the USA president said on Twitter that "President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province".

But Moscow on September 4 rejected the warning, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying Trump's tweet demonstrated a limited approach toward the situation in Idlib Province.

Russia, however, dismissed the comments and said the area was a "nest of terrorism".

"So, from all standpoints, this abscess has to be liquidated", the Russian foreign minister said.

Dunford recommended more tailored operations against the militants.

Representatives from Turkey, Russia and Iran will meet with Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations special envoy on Syria, early next week.

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Zarif said the tripartite summit on Friday will discuss ways to confront the extremist groups, mainly the LLC, amid efforts to separate this group from other less-radical militants who could achieve reconciliation with the government without military operation. The fourth round of those talks in May 2017 produced a memorandum of understanding on de-escalation zones in Syria, sharply reducing fighting in the country.

"You have the potential for civilians to be not just targeted by the regime but also to be caught in battles through which these rebel groups aim to defend against regime attacks", said Khatib.

As Syria has a strong alliance with Iran and Russian Federation, its relations with Turkey had dramatically worsened during the Syrian war as Turkey has been a major backer of the rebels in their insurgency against the rule of Assad.

He further said, "And the remaining terrorists in the remaining parts of Idlib must be cleaned out and the region should be placed back under the control of the Syrian people".

On Sunday, the head of UK-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP news agency the Mezzeh military airport was struck by a "possible Israeli missile" fired across the occupied Golan Heights.

They are home to some three million civilians.

The spokesman said the imminent Idlib offensive has anxious "certain sponsors of terrorists" who have launched "a massive propaganda campaign" to forestall the purge.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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