Turkey is working to reach cease-fire in Syria’s Idlib

UN chief pushes for protection of civilians in Syria's Idlib

Turkey arms rebels as Idlib prepares for Syrian onslaught

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday in another bid to avert a looming Syrian government assault on the rebel-held province of Idlib bordering Turkey that has sparked worldwide concern.

This is contrary to global humanitarian law, the OCHA spokesperson said, adding that one of the hospitals was also in a protected "deconfliction zone", whose coordinates had been given to the warring parties to spare it from attack.

Washington and its allies have also warned Syria that they will act not just in case of chemical weapons being used, but against any attack on the province, the United States envoy to the UN said.

Russian Federation and Iran are key allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Last Friday, the leaders of Iran, Russia and Turkey met in Iran for talks on Idlib and on the same day the UN Security Council held a session on Idlib.

The province, population 3 million, is now the final shelter for close to 1.5 million displaced Syrians that fled fighting in other parts of Syria.

Government and Russian forces bombed towns and villages in the province earlier this week, killing more than a dozen civilians and damaging two hospitals. We will continue our efforts in global platforms as well.




Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the meeting would take place in the Russian resort city of Sochi.

Turkey has 12 military posts inside Idlib province, and activists reported on Thursday that Turkish reinforcements crossed over into Syria to fortify the installations. Most of the displaced headed toward the border with Turkey, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said, packing already overcrowded camps there.

The battle could bring an end to a seven-year-old uprising-turned-civil war, but at the cost of a humanitarian disaster on a scale yet unseen in the bloody conflict.

He later said that the terror-labeled groups should turn in their weapons, and this specific detail seemed like another opportunity taken by Turkey to try to do something ahead of the anticipated military operation in Idlib, which is fully backed and supported by Iran and Russian Federation, both are the key allies of the Syrian government.

The most pressing issue on the table is the avoidance of the looming Syrian offensive in Idlib.

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.

The U.N. warned last week that such an offensive would lead to the "worst humanitarian catastrophe in the 21st century".

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