Russian air strikes pound Syria's Idlib while key summit takes place

A general view taken with a drone shows part of the rebel-held Idlib city

Emma Ashford of the Cato Institute summed up the situation nicely: "In short, the Trump admin appears poised to commit us to a costly, unnecessary years-long commitment in Syria".

"Whatever reason there is an attack that has been made or will be made will result in disaster, massacre and humanitarian drama", he said.

Syrian forces have been massing around Idlib, backed by Russian air power and naval might. Russian jets also struck in the east of the province. Iran and Russian Federation maintain that Damascus is right to deal with terrorist threats. The Russian president holds the key to the forthcoming operation - the most significant in a series of Russian and Iranian-led victories across the country. He said: "Millions will be coming to Turkey's borders because they have nowhere to go".

"If it's a slaughter, the world is going to get very, very angry". "So that is a scenario Turkey wants to prevent and relies on Russia's support". Putin said in Tehran on Friday that an offensive would be launched imminently if jihadist groups failed to leave.

"Russia is reminding Turkey it needs to stay in Russia's good graces if Turkey wants to avoid a painful catastrophe in north-west Syria", Mr Heras told Agence France-Presse.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, in anticipation of a destructive offensive, has called on all parties to protect civilians in Idlib - many of whom fled government offensives in other parts of the country and have scarce means to sustain their families through another displacement.

An offensive is likely to first strike southwest Idlib and the al-Ghab plains, which overlook the coastal area where Russian Federation has its military and naval bases.

Meanwhile, the fate of Idlib hung in the balance. Some analysts suggest that could be a thinly veiled warning.

Erdogan's efforts to reverse this played out live with the leaders and their delegations assembled around a giant white table as the press cameras continued, inexplicably, to roll. Another front for the offensive is from the south and southeast, which would restore government control over an essential highway that runs between Syria's major cities. Turkey considers the PKK a terrorist group. "Any attack on Idlib in the name of eliminating terrorist groups would undermine the Astana process", he added.

Baby boy for Shahid Kapoor & Mira Rajput
The couple previously have a two-year-old daughter Misha , who recently celebrated her birthday with the whole extended family. Shahid Kapoor's wife Mira Rajput gave birth to their second child on Wednesday at Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai.

Progressive anti-war activists and commentators warned throughout the Obama years and during Trump's presidency that the USA strategy in Syria was a slippery slope that would inevitably lead to ever-increasing engagement in a complex conflict and fuel perpetual war.

"Turkey's calls on the U.S.to stop this shady relationship have fallen on deaf ears". Both Turkey and Iran were, however, critical of the USA presence in Syria. The cleric, Fethullah Gulen, denies the accusation.

While President Donald Trump had signaled that he wanted U.S. forces out of Syria, in April he agreed to keep troops there a little longer.

"Ankara needs to be realistic".

On Friday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said his country could no longer afford to take in any more refugees from Syria.

"The fight against terrorism in Idlib is an indispensable part of the mission to return peace and stability to Syria, but this fight should not harm civilians and lead to a " scorched-earth" policy", Rouhani said.

The UN Security Council met to discuss Idlib late on September 7 at the request of the United States, with the UN's Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura saying there are "all the ingredients for a ideal storm" in Idlib.

"It's like trying to save the house as it's burning down", he said.

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