(National Sentinel) War Drums: POTUS Trump on Tuesday issued a stern warning to Russia, Syria, and Iran ahead of a suspected Damascus-led attack on Idlib, the last rebel stronghold remaining following the country’s long-running civil war.
There are nearly 3 million people who live in the Idlib Province, which is located in northern Syria. Last week, Russian officials said that there must be an attack on the region in order to eliminate the last pockets of resistance to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, The Western Journal reported.
Moscow and Tehran have been providing financial and military support to Assad’s regime, and in fact, Russian air power has been credited with saving his government and his country, which was rapidly deteriorating.
“Idlib is the last major stronghold of terrorists who are trying to gamble on the status of the de-escalation zone and hold civilians as human shields and bring the armed formations ready for negotiations with the Syrian government to their knees,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said last week.
“So, from all standpoints, this ‘abscess’ has to be liquidated,” he said, according to the Voice of America.
But POTUS Trump had something to say about that.
“President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province. The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don’t let that happen!” Trump tweeted.
President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province. The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don’t let that happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2018
UN Amb. Nikki Haley also tweeted a warning.
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) September 3, 2018
“All eyes are on the actions of Assad, Russia, and Iran in Idlib,” she wrote, adding the hashtag, #NoChemicalWeapons.
That said, reports noted that Russian planes attacked rebel positions in Idlib after POTUS Trump’s warning.
The U.S. has struck Syria twice following the suspected use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, and reports noted that the U.S. could quickly respond if they were used again.
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But a greater concern is the potential for a humanitarian catastrophe just caused by a conventional attack.
“Idlib would see a humanitarian catastrophe that exceeds the level of any seen in the Syrian conflict so far,” said Lina Khatib, head of the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House in London, according to CNN.
“You have the potential for civilians to be not just targeted by the regime but also to be caught in battles through which these rebel groups aim to defend against regime attacks.”