Trump warns Syria against attack on rebel stronghold

Aaron Brown
September 4, 2018

Don't let that happen!'

President Donald Trump has warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies Iran and Russian Federation not to "recklessly attack" Syria's rebel-held Idlib province, saying hundreds of thousands of people could be killed.

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.

Now the pro-government forces are focused on Idlib, where there are about three million and worries from the United Nations that an offensive there would bring a large humanitarian toll.

It is also a hub for the Iranian Qods Force, which has propped up the Assad regime during the seven and a half years of the war.

The President's warning comes just days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a similar warning to Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, saying an attack on Idlib was something that Syria and Russian Federation "agreed not to permit", and that the USA "sees this as an escalation of an already risky conflict".

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The International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank, said an all-out assault on Idlib and its catastrophic consequences could still be avoided.

Earlier in the day, the top Iranian diplomat held separate meetings with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem and Prime Minister Imad Khamis.

"And the remaining terrorists in the remaining parts of Idlib must be cleaned out and the region should be placed back under the control of the Syrian people".

Iranian Defence Minister Amir Hatami was in Damascus last week and signed a "defense and technical agreement" created to ensure the continued "presence and participation" of Iran in Syria.

The Israeli government does not comment on the details of its military operations overseas, but it has claimed it had hit Iranian forces on Syrian soil.

Assad's office said in a statement: 'The two sides asserted that the pressures from some Western states on Syria and Tehran will not deter the two countries from continuing to defend their principles'.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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