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United Nations: 30,000 displaced in Syria ahead of planned Idlib offensive
14 September 2018, 08:19 | Glen Norman
Humanitarian crisis worsens in Syria as crippling assault on Idlib continues
Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock's comments in Geneva came days after Iran and Russian Federation backed a military campaign in the rebel-held area despite Turkey's pleas for a cease-fire.
Two children were killed in heavy barrel bomb attacks on a village in Idlib's south Sunday, a day after 10 civilians died in shelling across the rebel zone, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.
Erdogan had also called for a truce, but Putin said this would be pointless as it would not involve the Islamist militant groups that Russian Federation deems terrorists, and Rouhani said Syria must regain control over all its territory.
"Russia and Iran also rejected similar calls from the United Kingdom and others at the U.N. Security Council on the same day", Burt added.
Idlib residents hope Turkey's presence in the province might prevent a major assault by regime forces and Ankara's relationship with Iran and Russian Federation could lead to a new ceasefire.
A full-scale military offensive on Idlib risks creating the worst humanitarian tragedy of the 21st century, United Nations aid agencies have said, amid concerns that a severe funding shortfall threatens the most vulnerable victims of the conflict.
Syria's regime and Iran have been building up their forces around Idlib province, the last stronghold of the rebels with fears an assault on the region is imminent. They say they are targeting terrorist groups.
"If Assad, Russia and Iran continue down the path they are on, the consequences will be dire", she said.
The talks in Geneva, under United Nations envoy Staffan de Mistura, come amid concerns about a looming battle for northern Idlib province - the last remaining rebel stronghold in Syria after seven years of war, which is home to three million civilians.
Haley said the Astana process has failed "to stop the violence or to promote a political solution". The global community fears Assad and his allies are preparing to carry out a final assault on the province.
One source close to the White House told Al-Monitor that the U.S. administration was resigned to the Syrian offensive and acknowledged there were few options to stop it. The world will hold them responsible.
"The Syrian regime seeks to legitimize its operation on counter-terrorism grounds".
"They pledged complete Turkish military support for a long, protracted battle", a senior FSA commander who was privy to talks in recent days with senior Turkish officials said, requesting anonymity as he was not authorized to speak publicly. "We are saying that this has the potential to be the worst crisis - humanitarian crisis - in the 21st century, because that is frankly what it looks like, if it goes ahead with a full-scale military operation".
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