Syria's Idlib 'Cannot Be a Slaughter'

Syria's Idlib 'Cannot Be a Slaughter'

"There is lots of evidence that chemical weapons are being prepared", Jeffrey told reporters, according to Reuters.

This comes as a summit is set to be held in the Iranian capital Tehran in the presence of the leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran regarding Syria.

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that barrels of chlorine and munitions had been delivered to Idlib, while members of the White Helmets, which had been involved in the staged chemical weapons incident in the Syrian town of Douma in April, were getting their cameras ready.

"The United States will continue to target those who facilitate transactions with the murderous Assad regime and support ISIS", Mnuchin said in the statement.

The attacks come amid repeated warnings from the US against an all-out assault by Syria's Russian-backed forces to retake Idlib, the last major area held by the armed opposition in Syria. President Bashar Assad's "brutal regime - backed by Russian Federation and Iran - can not continue to attack and terrorize Syria's citizens".

The Britain-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 wounded.

Moscow said four of its jets "inflicted strikes by high-precision weapons" on targets belonging to HTS.

Idlib had been deemed a de-escalation zone, an area where Syrians are safe from air strikes. Russian Federation has suggested the rebels could use chemical weapons in a final battle for the rebel stronghold.

According to an upcoming book by reporter Bob Woodward, Trump wanted to kill al-Assad after he launched the chemical weapons on civilians a year ago.

The final statement of the summit between Russia, Turkey and Iran has already been finalized by senior representatives from the countries, according to Hossein Jaberi Ansari, Iran's top negotiator in the discussions.

Friday's summit in Tehran between key power brokers Erdogan, Putin and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani is expected to determine the scope and timing of any assault on Idlib.

Idlib is dominated by the jihadist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, led by the former Al-Qaeda branch in Syria. "The Turks have shown a great deal of resistance to an attack", he said.

"Any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation" he said.

The warning came amid signs that Syrian President Bashar Assad was preparing an offensive in Idlib province that the United Nations has said poses the threat of a humanitarian disaster.

Many of those living in Idlib are rebels and civilians who were bussed out of their hometowns in other parts of the country that have come back under regime control.

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