Kremlin dismisses Trump warning on Syria's Idlib

04 September, 2018, 19:13 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Explosions at a Syrian military airport close to Damascus

Meanwhile, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Damascus monitor based in the United Kingdom, reported that Russian warplanes had purportedly resumed air raids against terrorists' positions in Idlib earlier in the day after a hiatus of several weeks.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Damascus to discuss plans for an upcoming summit between the leaders of Iran, Russia and Turkey, which Tehran will host on September 7 to discuss Idlib, Iran's Fars news agency reported.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad meets with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Damascus, Syria, Sept. 3, 2018.

Assad has vowed to defeat the opposition in its last refuge in the province if the rebels do not surrender to government rule.

He added: "Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed". A statement from Assad's office said Iran and Syria "had similar views on the different issues" to be discussed.

During their meeting Assad and Zarif discussed the agenda of the summit in Iran.

Since early 2017, Iran, fellow regime ally Russian Federation and rebel backer Turkey have sponsored the negotiations track based in the Kazakh capital to tamp down hostilities in Syria.

Activists in Syria say several air strikes have hit a village in the country's northwestern province of Idlib, killing at least two people, as expectations mount of a government offensive to retake the rebel stronghold.

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Iran has been also helping Damascus in its fight against various factions of terrorists on its soil through providing the government troops with advisory assistance, based on an invitation by the Syrian government, since foreign-backed militancy broke out in the Arab country in March 2011.

However, the strongest set of fighters is led by an al Qaeda-linked group, which controls most of an area that is home to more than three million people.

"By backing an all-out offensive, Russian Federation risks undermining its long-term political objectives in Syria", ICG wrote in a nine-page briefing.

But Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday signalled strikes could be extended to Iraq if necessary.

Britain, France and the USA, which together launched limited attacks on Syrian installations in mid-April in retaliation for an alleged Syrian chemical attack, say their red line against illegal weapon use remains in force.

"Frankly speaking, I don't think there's anything the United States can do about it".

But these "verbal warning shots" have little to do with today's reality in Syria, said Jonas Parello-Plesner, a researcher with the Hudson Institute in Washington who recently published a study on the US approach to the region.

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