Russia Launches Airstrikes in Syria's Rebel-Held Idlib

Russia Launches Airstrikes in Syria's Rebel-Held Idlib

The US military has already twice conducted strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime following two alleged chemical weapons attacks, most recently in mid-April with French and British help.

Russian Federation wants Turkey to use its influence on the ground in Idlib to rein in the rebels and the jihadists.

Trump's comments came as he warned Damascus that "the world is watching" Syrian troops massing on the edges of the rebel-held province of Idlib, raising fears of a humanitarian disaster.

Idlib's fate now appears likely to rest on a summit on Friday in Tehran between the leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran - a meeting that Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said would make the situation "clearer".

De Mistura cited press reports indicating that Syria has set a September 10 deadline for finding a solution before it begins an all-out offensive on the province.

Hundreds of civilians have fled villages near the front line in Syria's Idlib province fearing an imminent regime assault on the country's last major rebel bastion, a monitor said Thursday.

Earlier Tuesday, the Kremlin criticized Trump for warning against an expected Syrian government offensive on the opposition's last stronghold.

More than half of Idlib province is controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadist alliance led by Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate, while Turkish-backed rebels hold much of the rest.

Tropical Storm Gordon Races Toward US Gulf Coast
Officials along Pensacola Beach say the waves are picking up Tuesday morning and lifeguards are warning beachgoers of the danger. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell declared her own state of emergency and closed all non-essential government offices.

The claims - revealed in excerpts in the Washington Post from the book which is due to be released on September 11 - have been strongly denied by Mr Mattis, the United States president and the White House.

De Mistura said there were about 10,000 fighters with UN-recognized terrorist organizations now in Idlib.

"We are ready to strike if chemical weapons were used again", Armed Forces Chief Francois Lecointre told a small group of reporters.

All the attacks were carried out "exclusively on the objects of terrorist groups identified and confirmed through several channels and far from populated areas", he said.

Trump on Wednesday also denied that he wanted to assassinate Assad - one of the many shocking claims made in a new book by the acclaimed Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward.

"Let's fucking kill him!"

Mattis told the president that he'd get right on it - but after hanging up, he told a senior aide: "We're not going to do any of that".

France joined the U.S. and the United Kingdom as partners in the April strikes, launching more than 100 missiles at Syrian government targets.

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