391 civilians killed in Syria in August: NGO

391 civilians killed in Syria in August: NGO

391 civilians killed in Syria in August: NGO

"I assure you that we do not have chemical weapons and are not able to use them", Walid al-Moualem told reporters.

Turkey, too, is expressing grave concern about an attack, anxious it will bear the brunt of the humanitarian and security fallout.

"We are working toward stopping this attack", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in Vienna Friday.

In Jordan and Turkey, Mr Jeffrey and Mr Rayburn will also focus on Syria and "reiterate the U.S. position that a military offensive in Idlib will escalate the crisis in Syria and the region, risk the lives of humanitarians and Syrian civilians, and destroy civilian infrastructure", the State Department said.

An offensive is likely to first strike southwest Idlib and al-Ghab plains, which overlook the coastal area where Russian Federation has its military and naval bases. Moves by Assad risk pitting Russian-backed Syrian forces against Turkish soldiers.

"Sergey Lavrov is defending Syrian and Russian assault on #Idlib", Pompeo tweeted.

In this December 20, 2012, file photo, Syrian refugees, who fled their home in Idlib due to a government airstrike, look out of a vehicle's window just after crossing the border from Syria to Turkey in Cilvegozu, Turkey.

"Another such provocation is being prepared in order to hinder the anti-terroristic operation in Idlib, and we, having our facts on the table, through our Defense Ministry and Foreign Ministry clearly and firmly warned our Western partners - don't play with fire", Lavrov said. In addition, Russian experts are among the Syrians. "This would not be meant to substantially alter the Idlib battle, but rather to uphold the global convention against the use of chemical arms". The Syrian government denied the accusations and said that the Jaish al-Islam terror group staged the attack to encourage foreign intervention in Syria.

All the while seeking to pressure Turkey into reining in jihadists in Idlib, Damascus's main sponsor Russian Federation has been sounding the war drums in recent days.

That change came days after Abu Muhammad al-Julani, the HTS leader, denounced any talk of reconciliation with the Syrian government in a video message, according to the SITE group, which monitors jihadi websites.

Though the group claims to have no direct ties to al-Qaida, it's considered a terrorist group by the United States and the United Nations.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Damascus to discuss plans for an upcoming summit between the leaders of Iran, Russia and Turkey, which Tehran will host on September 7 to discuss Idlib, Iran's Fars news agency reported.

The rights group said a total of 6,036 civilians had been killed in war-torn Syria since January, going on to call on the worldwide community to provide protection to civilians in war-torn Syria and bring the parties responsible for civilian deaths to justice.

The UN and aid workers are bracing for disaster, warning that up to 800,000 people are in danger of renewed displacement if a government offensive gets underway.

In another grim twist, some of the Syrian forces massing for the Idlib battle are former rebels, who laid down their arms against the government in reconciliation deals.

The terrorists have said that there will be no dialogue with the Russians and the Syrian government to give up Idlib and its suburbs.

While he quickly backed away from talk of an immediate withdrawal, his underlying determination to leave Syria's seven-year war as soon as possible seems unchanged.

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