Sunday, 19 May 2019

W Weekly Update

September 1-8

Tensions grow around Idlib

CNN reports that President Donald Trump warned Syria and its allies Russia and Iran against attacking the last major rebel stronghold of Idlib province in the country's northwest. President Trump tweeted the following: “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!” But hours after the tweet, Russian planes struck parts of western Idlib. US officials are worried that an assault on Idlib could involve the use of chemical weapons.

As Syrian troops gathered near the north-western region of Idlib for a major assault that has raised fears of a humanitarian catastrophe on a scale not yet seen in the seven-year-old conflict, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that dropping bombs and missiles on Syria’s last rebel-held province of Idlib could cause a “massacre”, according to The Guardian. But analysts say there is little that Turkey can do in the face of Russian and Syrian resolve to root out the fighters.

The Guardian also informs that the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said panic was spreading among the 3 million citizens of Idlib province as he suggested the Assad government and its allies had set 10 September as the date for a full-scale bombardment of the last large rebel enclave.


Prepared by Marina Muradyan

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