Turkish FM discusses Syria with United States counterpart on phone

Turkish FM discusses Syria with United States counterpart on phone

Turkish FM discusses Syria with United States counterpart on phone

"The United States sends the ball into the corner of Russian Federation and Russia into the corner of the U.S.", he said.

President Bashar al-Assad's regime has retaken large swathes of the country from rebels and militants since Russian Federation intervened militarily on its side in 2015.

Turkey, which backs some of the rebels, has held several rounds of talks with Russian Federation aimed at averting an assault on Idlib, as well as with Washington.

"Let us be clear, it remains our firm stance that if President Bashar al-Assad chooses to again use chemical weapons, the United States and its Allies will respond swiftly and appropriately", said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

On Monday, President Trump joined a growing chorus of voices warning the Syrian government against a full scale assault, which he said could trigger a "human tragedy".

A major assault would be devastating for the almost three million people living in the northwestern province, many of them rebels and civilians who were moved out of other areas as they came back under regime control.

Germany would consider boosting humanitarian assistance for Syrian refugees in countries neighbouring state in the case of an all-out regime offensive in the northern region of Idlib, said Maas.

She warned on Tuesday against the use of any chemical weapons in Idlib, after the White House pledged to "respond swiftly and appropriately" to any such attack. "Russian warplanes resumed bombing Idlib province after a 22-day pause", said Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the monitor.

Tuesday's bombardment hit several areas held by the jihadist-led Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance, among them the large town of Jisr al-Shughur, but also areas held by rival Turkish-backed rebels, including the town of Ariha.

De Mistura said there were an estimated 10,000 fighters with UN-designated terror groups now in Idlib.

The Syrian regime has recently announced plans to launch a major military offensive to the area, which is controlled by various armed opposition groups.

But he stressed that there are some 2.9 million civilians in the province - including about a million children who "are not terrorists". De Mistura, whose years of efforts to push forward a Syrian peace deal have achieved no breakthroughs, insisted that he would pursue his efforts to set up a committee to write a new Syrian constitution. The United Nations has said displaced people already make up about half of the 3 million people living in rebel-held areas of the northwest.

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