Syria strike kills 8 pro-regime fighters: monitor

Syria file

But U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on August 31 that Washington would consider an assault in Idlib by Assad's forces as an escalation of Syria's war.

He did not release a timeframe and did not comment on reports that Russian warplanes had carried out airstrikes on Idlib earlier Tuesday.

At least 23 strikes were reported in several locations around the opposition-held northwestern province of Idlib, in what appeared to be the opening salvo of an expected offensive.

Russian, Turkish and Iranian leaders are due to meet on September 7 in Iran and are expected to discuss the situation in northwestern Syria.

Warning that "Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed", Trump cautioned Russia, Iran and Assad not to act "recklessly" or "take part" in what he described as a "potential human tragedy".

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict.

Russian Federation accuses rebels in Idlib of attacking Hmeimim with weaponized drones and insists rebel groups in the province must be eliminated.

The presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey will hold talks on Syria in Tehran on Friday. "Don't let that happen!" he tweeted.

'Mob rule' and chaos in the Senate at hearing of Trump's choice
But Democrats raised objections from the moment Chairman Chuck Grassley gaveled the committee to order . Obviously, they do not have the votes to block this nominee but they're putting up one hell of a fight.

The three countries have backed the Astana process for Syria and agreed to establish four de-escalation zones including Idlib.

The day before Pompeo's warning, Lavrov told Western nations not to "play with fire" over Idlib and claimed the White Helmets, a group of unarmed volunteer rescue workers, were preparing to stage a chemical strike to blame on the Syrian government as a pretext for military action.

After an all-out military offensive-accompanied by a complex patchwork of ceasefire agreements-ended hostilities in the country's south in July, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Russian media that "now, Idlib is [the] goal".

Tehran has provided steady political, financial and military backing to Assad throughout the war, which has left over 350,000 people dead since it broke out in 2011.

But the situation in Idlib has escalated with the presence of ultra-radical groups such as the LLC, which also prevents other rebel factions from accepting a reconciliation deal with the Syrian government.

Other examples of Trump setting red lines for Syria?

Trump wrote on his Twitter page on Monday.

Mr. Trump said in April that "it's time" to bring American troops home from Syria - once the jihadists of the Islamic State or Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had been definitively defeated.

More than seven years since Syria's conflict began, regime forces have managed to retake entire regions from rebels and now control almost two-thirds of the country.

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