Pope warns of ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ in Syrian rebel bastion

Pope warns of ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ in Syrian rebel bastion

Al-Moallem said the preparations for an attack by the U.S., Britain, and France on Syria is not new as the three powers had struck Syria in April over the same allegations of chemical weapons use in the formerly rebel-held Douma district in the Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus.

Russian Federation is also calling on the worldwide community to realize its responsibility to prevent regular provocations with chemical weapons in Syria, Lavrov said.

The adversaries in Syria's long and merciless civil war are preparing for another brutal offensive, and this one may be the last.

Lavrov got backing from an unexpected source on August 31 for the government's avowed plans to "liquidate" the extremist Al-Qaeda group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, previously known as Al-Nusra Front, which includes many recruits from foreign countries.

But Lavrov on Wednesday called on the West not to stand in the way of what he described as an "anti-terror operation" in Idlib, which borders Turkey.

Turkey has staged two incursions into northern Syria since 2016 in support of rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, leading to its control over a zone along the border.

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Earlier this year, the United Nations began sharing the Global Positioning System coordinates of health facilities with Russian Federation and the U.S. in a bid to protect them but four have been struck since.

"At our meeting with Nasr Al-Hariri, president of Syrian Negotiations Commission, we exchanged views on recent developments in Syria, including Idlib and also the period ahead concerning the political process", Cavusoglu wrote on his Facebook page.

"The 3 million Syrians, who have already been forced out of their homes and are now in Idlib, will suffer from this aggression".

Those areas were handed over to regime forces in surrender deals, with many opposition fighters and civilians bussed to Idlib.

There were also reports that terrorist factions in Idlib were literally setting the stage for a false flag chemical "incident".

A war-of-words already is being waged between the USA and Russian Federation, with the former accusing the latter of violating an understanding to prevent the Syrian regime from advancing on Idlib.

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Pope Francis on Sunday called on the worldwide community to ensure the safety of civilians in Syria's Idlib province, one of the last opposition-held territories in the conflict-ridden nation.

"Another such provocation is being prepared in order to hinder the anti-terroristic operation in Idlib, and we, having our facts on the table, through our Defense Ministry and Foreign Ministry clearly and firmly warned our Western partners - don't play with fire", Lavrov said.

Following Russian warnings over possible chemical weapons attacks to be carried out by groups who will blame Russia - although that possibility decreased - the Idlib tension is nevertheless escalating.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend a three-way summit in Tehran on September, 7, with the leaders of Turkey and Iran, his spokesman said on Friday.

She said violence could force as many as 800,000 people to flee in one of the Syrian war's largest displacements yet.

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