Trump Warns Syria’s Assad, Russia, Iran Not to ‘Recklessly Attack’ Idlib

Clay Curtis
September 4, 2018

Syria's foreign ministry and Iran's state-run IRNA news agency said Mohammad Javad Zarif was received by Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad upon his arrival in Damascus, and was to meet later with Syrian President Bashar Assad. "The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy", Trump said in a tweet on Monday.

And that reality, he told AFP, is that "Assad is advancing on the ground, aided by Iran by land and Russian Federation by air", while the United States places its hopes on a UN-backed Geneva peace process that might best be described as "moribund".

The tweet followed a call by Iran yesterday for militants to be "cleaned out" of the province as...

Iranian media quoted Zarif saying Idlib should be put back under control of the Syrian people, and that reconstruction efforts in Syria and the return of refugees should go forward.

Russian Federation and Iran have insisted that extremist groups in Idlib must be defeated and are expected to back regime forces in any assault.

He met Assad to discuss "issues on the agenda for the tripartite meeting", according to the regime presidency's account on the Telegram messaging app.

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said Mazzeh was hit by a "possible Israeli missile, which hit a munitions store setting off successive explosions".

Despite a 55-km deconfliction zone around the base, Al-Tanf is seen as a potential flashpoint between USA and Iranian or Tehran-backed forces.

France also said there could be "disastrous consequences" if Syrian forces and their allies launch an assault on the Idlib province in northwestern Syria, the last major enclave held by rebels fighting the Iran and Russia-backed Assad regime.

President Assad has vowed to defeat the opposition in its last refuge in the province if the rebels do not surrender to government rule.

Further Iranian engagement in Syria meanwhile risks drawing Israel deeper into the conflict.

Eleven more loyalists to Bashar al-Assad - four Syrians and seven non-Syrians - were injured, reported the Observatory citing reliable sources.

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