Idlib: Activists report air attacks on Idlib

Syria's last rebel province seems to be experiencing the heaviest attacks for weeks. The US fears that chemical weapons could be used in an offensive.

Idlib: Activists report air attacks on Idlib

One day after Turkey's failed efforts to bring about a ceasefire in Syrian Idlib, Syrian government, along with Russian Air Force, has, according to activists, flown most severe attacks in region for a month. The sourn part of province and also north of adjacent Hama region were shaken by about 90 bombardments, Syrian Human Rights Observatory reported. These were most violent attacks since government in Damascus and its ally Russia had announced an offensive a month ago. At least four civilians were killed.

The observatory's information cannot be independently verified, but organisation, based in London, is considered to be well-connected, and its information is often met.

Witnesses and rescue workers also reported more than a dozen Syrian air raids on villages and cities controlled by insurgents. In process, Syrian helicopters would have also thrown off internationally outlawed barrel bombs on civilian residential areas in outskirts of town of Chan Scheichun, said residents. According to civil protection, at least three civilians were killed in village of Deen in south of province.

Rulers Bashar al-Assad apparently plans a large-scale military offensive at Idlib, last center of rebels in Syria. Observers fear many deaths and injuries. In province of Syria, controlled by jihadists and Islamist rebel groups, 2.9 million people live, among m 1.4 million displaced persons from or parts of country. According to UN, Idlib is held by around 10,000 militiamen. Most of m have joined Islamist groups. In case of a major offensive, fierce fighting is imminent, as re is no longer any alternative for rebels in Syria.

Syria observers report heavy air attacks on Idlib Syrian government and Russian Air Force have flown most severe attacks in region for a month, according to activists. At least four civilians were killed. © PHOTO: Reuters TV Putin calls for "annihilation of terrorists"

The Syrian UN ambassador to World Security Council, Bashar Dschaafari, stated that Assad government was determined to liberate Syrian territory from terrorism and foreign occupation. The armed groups in Idlib had been left with a lot of time to dissolve and to distance mselves from terrorist organisations. Dschaafari responded with se remarks to meeting of Turkish head of state Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Iranian President Hassan Ruhani and Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. They had been advising on situation in Idlib on Friday at a three-summit in Tehran. Putin called for "total annihilation of terrorists". Similarly, Ruhani expressed himself, while Erdoğan campaigned for a ceasefire.

The US reckons that chemical weapons could also be used in major offensive. The US army prepared militarily, re was a "routine dialogue" with President Donald Trump on this issue, said Chief of Staff Joseph Dunford on a trip to India on Saturday. However, no decision has yet been made as to wher United States would use military force if Syria used C weapons when taking Idlib. Trump was informed about development of such options. The White House had declared on Tuesday that in case of a chemical weapons attack on Idlib, US and its allies would respond "quickly and appropriately."

The US had recently warned government in Damascus of use of C weapons. He joined France on Thursday. According to US data, re are many indications that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's troops have prepared such a mission. In April 2017 and April 2018, US Air force had bombed targets in Syria after it had been suspected of poison gas attacks.

Updated Date: 09 September 2018, 12:00

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