U.N. Chief Says a 'Bloodbath' Must be Averted in Syria's Idlib

U.N. Chief Says a 'Bloodbath' Must be Averted in Syria's Idlib

The chemical weapons attack, attributed to the Syrian regime, reportedly killed more than 70 people and injured over 550 more, at the time making it the deadliest such attack of the Syrian civil war since the chemical weapons attack in Ghouta four years prior.

"In this sense, a military operation in Idlib would only play into the hands of terrorists", he said. "They still have the power to match their words of peace with deeds by working in Geneva to achieve a political transition in Syria".

President Tayyip Erdogan has warned that an assault by the army and its Russian and Iran-backed allies on Idlib, home to around 3 million people, will uproot hundreds of thousands in one of Syria's last rebel strongholds.

"A staged provocation of so-called "chemical weapons" used by the Syrian army against civilians is now being filmed in Jisr al-Shughur", the ministry said in a statement carried by Russian news wires Tuesday.

The United Nations has accused Syria of launching dozens of chemical weapons attacks using both sarin and chlorine gas, and in response to two particularly devastating incidents, the US used military force to persuade the Syrian regime to adhere to acceptable warfighting methods.

Already hosting 3.5 million Syrians - the world's biggest refugee population - Turkey says it can not absorb more victims of the war and has accused the West of abandoning it to face the consequences of President Bashar al-Assad's reconquest of Syria.

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"We are also anxious".

Humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said the regime's planned assault on Idlib would likely lead to huge numbers of civilian deaths, and perhaps the biggest loss of life this century.

Among this patchwork of opposition are over three million civilians.

CNN reported last week that U.S. officials have grown anxious that an assault on Idlib could involve the use of chemical weapons if the rebels are able to slow regime advances.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal will represent Turkey during the meetings.

She told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that "Russia has the power to stop the catastrophe looming in Idlib".

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Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia argued at the same Security Council meeting that there is a need to fight terrorists in Idlib.

"The formation process of a constitutional committee will be discussed, and we can say that the preparations have come to the last stage", he added.

Other aid organisations also operate in the area, but their support is mostly limited to providing supplies to civilians already living in the existing border camps.

Haley further blamed Russian Federation and the regime for allegedly carrying out more than 100 air strikes, some of which she said were "ruthless double tap" strikes targeting first responders.

Erdogan said that a focus on the potential use of chemical weapons alone was not enough.

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