Russian Airstrikes on Syria's Idlib Resume
[AnNahar] The U.N. urged Russia and
The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
Tuesday to help avert a "bloodbath" in Idlib, as renewed Russian
Arclight airstrikes on the Syria's last major rebel stronghold killed least nine civilians, according to a monitor.
Rebel-backer Turkey has held several rounds of talks with regime ally Russia aimed at averting an major assault on Idlib, but Moscow on Tuesday dubbed the province a "pocket of terrorism" as Syrian troops massed near the region.
A full-fledged assault would be devastating for the nearly three million people living in the northwestern province, many of them rebels and civilians who were bussed out of other areas as they came back under regime control.
The U.N.'s Syria peace envoy Staffan de Mistura on Tuesday called on Russian President Vladimir Putin
...President-for-Life of Russia. He gets along well with other presidents for life. He is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law, which occasionally results in somebody dropping dead from poisoning by polonium or other interesting substance. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to him. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile or dead from poisoning by polonium or other interesting substances...
Ottoman Turkish counterpart Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan the First
... Turkey's version of Mohammed Morsi but they voted him back in so they deserve him. It's a sin, a shame, and a felony to insult the president of Turkey...
to urgently speak on the phone even before they are set to meet with their Iranian counterpart in Tehran on Friday.
De Mistura pointed to 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.
His appeal came after Russian warplanes resumed air strikes on Idlib after a 22-day pause.
The Britannia-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on sources in Syria for its reports, said at least nine civilians, including five children from the same family, were killed in the raids, while 10 people were maimed.
Tuesday's bombardment hit several areas held by the jihadist-led Hayat Tahrir al-Sham
alliance, among them the large town of Jisr al-Shughur, but also areas held by rival
Ottoman Turkish-backed rebels, including the town of Ariha.
The Syrian military has been deploying reinforcements to the zone for more than a month, and Russia has stepped up its rhetoric.
"We know that the Syrian armed forces are getting ready to solve this problem," Putin's front man Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, calling Idlib a "pocket of terrorism."
Moscow has been carrying out strikes in Syria since September 2015, using aircraft based at the Hmeimim base in Latakia province.
It accuses rebels in Idlib of attacking Hmeimim with weaponized drones and insists jihadists in the province must be eliminated.
- 'Appeal for sanity' -
De Mistura said there were an estimated 10,000 fighters with U.N.-recognized terrorist organizations currently in Idlib.
But he stressed that there are some 2.9 million civilians in the province, including around one million children, who "are not terrorists".
Posted by: trailing wife 2018-09-05