Ceasefire talks fail as airstrikes target last rebel-held region in Syria

United States Ambassador Nikki Haley addresses a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday

The attacks come amid repeated warnings from the USA against an all-out assault by Syria's Russian-backed forces to retake Idlib, the last major area held by the armed opposition in Syria.

In a statement Thursday on the eve of a meeting in Tehran of the presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey, which supports Syria's opposition, the eight nations warned that a full-scale military offensive in Idlib would have "potentially catastrophic humanitarian consequences for civilians".

Many of Idlib's residents have already fled fighting in other areas of the country during Syria's seven-year civil war. However, the Post article itself admits that 14,000 fighters in Idlib are linked to al-Qaeda, though the figure is likely much higher.

The attacks came one day after Russia, Iran and Turkey held a summit in Tehran to discuss the fate of Idlib, a rebel-held city where thousands of rebels and their families have been evacuated from different parts of Syria.

The Trump administration issued a series of new sanctions on the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ahead of what US officials believe is an "imminent attack" by the regime with help from Russian Federation and Iran, according to an announcement by the Treasury Department. "I think we all want to avoid that", he said while visiting Athens earlier this week. "We never want to see Idlib turn into a lake of blood".

"The Trump Administration and the global community have made it clear that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict", Haley told the Council, which was to hold another meeting Friday on the crisis in Idlib.

Turkey on Wednesday said Russia's air assault on Syria's rebel-held province of Idlib was "wrong" and that Ankara would try to stop further attacks.

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None of Turkey's options look good, adds Aydıntaşbaş, as it faces both a humanitarian "catastrophe" and a result that could "forever alter the dynamics of the Syrian war - in favor of the regime". He was confident that if Western countries worked together with Russia, Syrian opposition members would have been separated from terrorists a long time ago.

He called on all rebels in Syria to disarm and seek a peaceful end to the conflict.

Syrian and Russian forces stand guard as civilians enter the Abu Duhur crossing on the eastern edge of Idlib province, on August 20, 2018. "We hope that the representatives of these terrorist organizations have enough common sense to surrender their weapons", he told reporters after the talks.

Critics said Black was being used, perhaps unwittingly, as a tool for Syrian propaganda as government forces massed for an assault on Idlib province, the country's last rebel-held stronghold. Abdurrahman said suspected Russian warplanes carried out the attack.

Zarif posted the message in the midst of a trilateral meeting between Iran, Russia and Turkey focused on a looming battle against militants in Idlib province in northwest Syria. President Trump has previously labelled Assad an "animal" for using the banned weapons, and called Iran and Russian Federation "responsible for backing" him.

In this April 14, 2018 file photo, Damascus skies erupt with surface to air missile fire as the USA launches an attack on Syria targeting different parts of the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria.

Although America has some 2,000 troops and outposts in Syria, Trump has said he wants to pull those forces out after the war against the Islamic State group dislodged the extremists from vast territories it once held there and in Iraq.

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