Powers cite need for peace in Idlib — UN official

Powers cite need for peace in Idlib — UN official

Powers cite need for peace in Idlib — UN official

Turkey is reinforcing its military posts inside Syria's rebel-held province of Idlib, Turkish and Syrian rebels sources say, seeking to deter a government offensive which it says would unleash a humanitarian disaster on its border.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed the Erdogan-Putin meeting during a joint press conference in Islamabad with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday.

Turkey has set up 12 such posts around Idlib under a de-escalation agreement reached a year ago with Russian Federation and Iran.

Idlib also has a population of three million civilians, including a large number of people internally displaced by the seven-year conflict.

"It is in our interest for Syria to be a stable country".

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At the same time, Maas also underlined Berlin's demand for Moscow to use its influence to get President Bashar al-Assad to back off from a looming major offensive against opposition-held Idlib. "But killing everyone - civilians, women, children - like this in the name of fighting terrorist organizations is not right and is not humane", he said on a visit to Pakistan.

Thousands of protesters attend a demonstration against the Syrian government offensive to Idlib, in the northwestern town of Maarat al-Numan, also known as al-Maarra, south of Idlib, Syria, Friday, Sept 14, 2018.

Any attack on Syria's Idlib province is going to be "dealt with", USA ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley warned, as Washington seeks to stop the Russian-backed Syrian army from retaking the last remaining jihadist stronghold.

"We will continue our efforts with Iran and with Russian Federation".

Officials estimate that almost 3 million civilians are in Idlib.

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On Thursday, the Observatory said that 185 truckloads of weapons and military gears entered areas in Idlib from Turkey under the supervision of the Turkish forces, which maintain 12 observation points in Idlib and nearby Hama countryside.

Ankara, which hosts some 3.5 million refugees, has said it could not take any more if an attack on Idlib drove a new surge of people towards its border.

In the case of an offensive, the United Nations estimates almost 700,000 will be displaced inside Idlib, and about 100,000 to head to nearby government-held areas. "We have seen it in use before, and we strongly advise that it does not happen in this enclosed area, where the population has, I think, nearly doubled by the influx of evacuees and IDPs from other parts of the country".

Another proposal is to open humanitarian corridors through which civilians could leave to government-controlled areas, although that suggestion has yet to gain any traction.

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