Turkey Steps Up Arms to Syrian Rebels as Idlib Attack Looms


Turkey is reinforcing its military posts inside Syria's rebel-held province of Idlib, Turkish and Syrian rebels sources say, seeking to deter a government offensive which it says would unleash a humanitarian disaster on its border. "We will continue our efforts with Iran and with Russian Federation".

Although the Foreign Minister did not specify where the meeting would take place, several local media outlets reported it would be held in Sochi, the Russian city that hosted a Turkey-Iran-Russia summit in November a year ago.

Mr Peskov said Mr Putin discussed the situation in Idlib with members of Russia's Security Council on Friday.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Wednesday warned Syria and its backers against a full-scale offensive in Idlib, saying it "must not be transformed into a bloodbath". The UN has described it as a "dumping ground" for people evacuated and displaced from elsewhere in Syria during the seven-year war.

"Any offensive on the civilian people in Idlib was going to be dealt with", Haley told Fox News' Bret Baier.

He and "a number of experts" plan to take part in the meeting on Syria in Istanbul on September 14.

Given the fact that Turkey has been part of a tripartite effort along with Iran and Russian Federation to establish de-escalation zones in northern Syria as part of the Astana process between the three powers, Ankara has warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in case of such an attack while stressing at the same time that terrorists should not be tolerated. Mr Erdogan and Mr Putin failed to agree on a ceasefire at a three-way summit in Tehran last week which also involved Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

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And following talks last week with Iran and Russian Federation, . Turkey has also gathered forces on its own borders to deter Syrian civilians fleeing the fighting.

The UN says almost 40,000 people fled their homes over the past two weeks amid fears of a full-scale assault and after heavy Russian and regime bombardment at the weekend. However, we are against hurting women, children and civilians at the pretext of the war on terror.

"We can not bring peace that way".

Idlib's most powerful armed faction is the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) jihadist group, which Ankara officially designated a "terrorist" group last month.

"It is in our interest for Syria to be a stable country".

On Thursday, the Observatory said that 185 truckloads of weapons and military gears entered areas in Idlib from Turkey under the supervision of the Turkish forces, which maintain 12 observation points in Idlib and nearby Hama countryside.

Erdoğan met with the leaders of Iran and Russian Federation last week in Tehran to discuss Syria, but a concrete ceasefire pledge did not came from the meeting.