US Military Makes Preliminary List of Possible Targets in Syria

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Russian Federation and Syria have denied planning any chemical attacks and have charged that the extremist Hayat group - with backing from the West - is planning to stage one and then blame it on the government, creating a pretext for Western air strikes. The U.S. has deployed its navy in the Mediterranean to attack Syria with Tomahawk missiles while Russian Federation has also deployed its warships in front of the U.S. warships.

Indeed, the United Nations' Syria envoy last week described the situation in Idlib as "the flawless storm", with fighting therein expected to cause not only a humanitarian crisis but also further entangle Washington, Ankara and even Jerusalem in the web of destruction.

Zarif met Assad, Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, who asked for Iran to continue its support, according to Iran's Fars News.

The United States appears resigned to the likelihood of a final military victory by Syrian government forces, even as it warns Bashar al-Assad and Moscow against launching a major offensive in the rebel-held northwest, analysts say.

"A military solution there would be a disaster", Cavusoglu said at a news conference, standing beside Russia's foreign minister, Sergey V Lavrov.

"The US sees this as an escalation of an already risky conflict", Pompeo said on Twitter.

"The 3 million Syrians, who have already been forced out of their homes and are now in #Idlib, will suffer from this aggression. If the Russians and the Syrian government attack Idlib, the door to Hell will open in the region because of all the Syrian dissident terrorists gathered in Idlib and its suburbs", said one of Syrian.

It was not immediately clear whether Turkey's decision to update its list of terror groups to include HTS could indicate a green light from Ankara for a possible Russian-backed regime operation into Idlib.

Despite these global pleas, Syrian and Russian officials over the weekend were openly preparing to oust the formidable rebel forces in the province.

There were also reports that terrorist factions in Idlib were literally setting the stage for a false flag chemical "incident".

It bracketed HTS as a variant name for Al-Nusra Front. The battle for Idlib might be the last in seven years of civil war.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Iran to meet with his Russian and Iranian counterparts Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani, state-run TRT Haber television said.

Some of these fighters, like Muhammed Darwish, say they are deliberating a withdrawal to the Turkish-controlled zones of Syria, around the towns of Afrin and Jarablus, to protect their families from the atrocities they have witnessed committed by government forces.

United Nations officials estimate an offensive would trigger a wave of displacement that could uproot up to 800,000 people.

Unlike other areas that have been reclaimed by recent government offensives, Idlib is not totally besieged.

With the liberation of Idlib, the Syrian government will return to pre-crisis conditions, and those who launched the war over Syria for seven years will be defeated and Damascus will be victorious.