Kremlin Rejects Trump's Warning Against New Offensive In Syria

A Syrian child at a camp for those displaced from the rebel-held Syrian province of Idlib

It has also pledged to prevent its arch foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, and a series of strikes that have killed Iranians in Syria have been attributed to Israel.

Assad's government has long referred to any opposition fighters as "terrorists".

But Syrian government forces are now massing around the province, which has become the last rebel bastion in the country.

Staffan de Mistura appealed to "President Putin and to President Erdogan, .to make a telephone call", even before they are set to meet with their Iranian counterpart in Tehran on Friday.

The top US military officer warned on Tuesday that a major Syrian military assault on the rebel-held enclave of Idlib would lead to a "humanitarian catastrophe" and instead recommended more narrowly tailored operations against militants there.

The Britain-based monitor, which relies on sources in Syria for its reports, said at least nine civilians, including five children from the same family, were killed in the raids, while 10 people were wounded.

The U.S. carried out limited airstrikes in April 2017 and again a year later after determining Assad had used chemical weapons in previous attacks.

The meeting will also discuss how to coordinate on continuing the political process and the counter-terrorism in Syria, he added.

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The official in the regional pro-Assad alliance had said the blasts were caused by Israeli missile fire from across the Golan Heights frontier between the two countries and by Syrian air defenses responding. Shortly before Trump's tweet, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that Russia, Turkey, and Iran are working to separate armed opposition and terrorists in the area so that any potential military operation spares civilian lives.

Last year, they had designated Idlib as a "de-escalation" zone where violence would halt in preparation for a countrywide ceasefire.

Speaking to university students in Moscow, Lavrov said the Syrian regime, Russia's ally, had every right to wipe out militants in northern Idlib, Interfax news agency reported.

Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad has sworn to recapture every inch of Syria and has made big gains against rebels since Russian Federation joined his war effort in 2015.

A statement from Mr Assad's office said Iran and Syria "had similar views on the different issues" to be discussed.

He said the problem of terrorists in Idlib "needs to be dealt with" and that the Syrian military is preparing to do that, though he didn't indicate specifically how or when.

The Red Crescent, like other aid organisations in Turkey, was "taking necessary measures in this regard, whether within Syria or within Turkey", he said.

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