Top general says Trump has military options if Syria uses chemical weapons

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Previously, Trump "resisted significant involvement" in the Syrian civil war "even as both Iran and Russian Federation increased their influence", notes the Post. Rouhani also spoke of "cleansing the Idlib region of terrorists", while also noting the need of protecting civilians.

Activists and a war monitoring group say Syrian government and Russian warplanes have targeted the southern edge of Idlib province with a series of airstrikes, ratcheting up the military pressure on the densely populated rebel-held bastion.

Turkey understands the concerns of Iran and Russian Federation over the presence of the terrorist groups in Idlib, he said, adding that "we also expect our friends to consider our concerns as well".

Kalin's comments come after Friday's Tehran summit with the Syrian government's backers Russian Federation and Iran, where Turkey called for a cease-fire.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 68 air raids and 19 barrel bombs dropped on several towns and villages in Idlib and Hama provinces in less than three hours on Saturday.

"We will not accept to leave Idlib at the mercy of the Assad regime", Al-Watan quoted Erdogan in another coverage of the summit.


The observatory said the militants retaliated against the government air strikes by shelling a Christian village in government-held Mahrada, killing at least 10 people, some of them children, and injuring 20 others.

People are fleeing from Idlib while they still can, as the province is surrounded by regime troops.

Washington has its own plan on how to "effectively" combat terrorism in Syria, the Pentagon has said, adding that the USA is not planning to cooperate with Moscow on the issue.

Idlib's provincial health chief Munzer al-Khalil warned Saturday that a large-scale military operation could result in "the most catastrophic crisis in our war".

A Syrian government offensive on Idlib could be the seven-year-long war's last decisive battle.

There is "lots of evidence" that chemical weapons are being prepared by Syrian government forces in Idlib in northwest Syria, the new U.S. adviser for Syria said on Thursday, as he warned of the risks of an offensive on the country's last big rebel enclave.


During Friday's summit, Erdogan said his country would not stand by and watch the loss of civilian lives in Idlib.

Turkey had armed and supported various incarnations of the Free Syria Army, an amorphous group of anti- Assad fighters who have lately coalesced into an alliance known as the Northern Front.

"I think the last chapter of the Idlib story has not been written".

"We don't want Idlib to be turned into a bloodbath", he stressed.

Mr. Erdoğan has long viewed Assad as illegitimate, wrote Ms. Aydıntaşbaş, in an ECFR analysis published Thursday, so "despite a begrudging acceptance of the regime's wartime gains over the past two years, Ankara is in no mood to facilitate Assad's victory in Idlib".

The town is run by Kurdish-led administrators and forces, but Syrian government troops hold pockets of territory there, including the airport. Occasional clashes erupt there over turf control and authority, reflecting deepening political tension between the uneasy partners. But in recent days, the Damascus government announced that it will be holding local administration elections, including in Kurdish-ruled areas, undermining the negotiations with the Kurds and their proposal for self-rule.


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