White House Warns Syria Against Chemical Weapons Use

06 September, 2018, 00:39 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Terrorists entrenched there’ Kremlin rebukes Trump’s warning against Idlib offensive

A Syrian man rides a motorcycle past a destroyed building in an area that was hit by a reported airstrike in the district of Jisr al-Shughur, in the Idlib province, September 4, 2018.

The UN and aid groups have warned that a full assault on Idlib could spark a humanitarian catastrophe on a scale not yet seen in Syria's seven-year-old conflict. More than 350,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since Syria's war started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

Turkey and the United States said they were racing find a diplomatic solution to avoid "a serious massacre" in Syria's Idlib province ahead of a critical summit on Friday which is likely to decide the fate of the rebel stronghold.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said on Tuesday the UN Security Council would meet on Friday to discuss the precarious situation in the province.

With the United Nations warning of a potential "bloodbath" in Syria's Idlib province, the United States has warned President Bashar al-Assad it would respond "swiftly and appropriately" if he uses chemical weapons against his own people.

Idlib is one of the "de-escalation" zones set up as a result of talks by Russia, Turkey and Iran previous year as Damascus regained control of more of the country. He also could not comment on reports that Russian warplanes had carried out air strikes on Idlib earlier Tuesday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday that at least nine civilians, including five children from the same family, were killed in the Russian raids, while 10 more people were wounded.

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"We know that the Syrian armed forces are getting ready to solve this problem", President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, calling Idlib a "pocket of terrorism".

Russian presidential advisor Yuri Ushakov described the meeting as "very important".

The Syrian government denies ever using chemical weapons.

The future of Idlib is likely to be determined at a summit on Friday, when the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey will gather in Tehran to discuss the future of Syria.

On Tuesday, the White House released an official statement condemning the attacks on Idlib and threatened military force if "chemical weapons" are used.

Western countries rushed to blame the incident on Damascus, with the USA launching a missile attack against Shayrat Airbase in Syria's Homs Province on April 7, 2017.

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