Reasons for USA fear of Operation Idlib

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

United States officials claim they are anxious that an impending assault by Syria forces on the terrorists in Idlib could involve the use of chemical weapons, an issue that Damascus has dismissed as false lies by Washington.

Moreover, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Thursday that the White Helmets had also kidnapped 44 children to stage an incident with chemical weapons in Syria's Idlib.

Reminding Turkey's willingness to trade with its top trade partners like China and Russian Federation in local currencies instead of the USA dollar, Erdoğan said that Turkey was in the process of finalizing the move and added: "These last events have showed how right we are". It has been argued that Turkey may be involved in convincing Tahrir al-Sham (called also Jabhat al-Nusra) to merge with other armed groups.

Over the past few years, the regime, backed by Russian air power and Iranian-supported Shiite mercenaries on the ground, has retaken from the rebels Aleppo, Eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of the capital, and, most recently, Deraa Province-the origin of the 2011 uprising-along with the Golan Heights region bordering Israel. Meanwhile, truckloads of United Nations humanitarian aid entered through the Cilvegözü Border Gate on Friday in Reyhanlı town of the Hatay province in southern Turkey to be distributed to the needy in Idlib.

That is precisely why, despite the extensive and unprecedented cooperation of the Damascus government with the Chemical Weapons Convention over the past years, it is again accusing Bashar al-Assad of using chemical weapons without providing any concrete evidence.

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"A military solution there would be a disaster", Cavusoglu said at a news conference, standing beside Russia's foreign minister, Sergey V Lavrov.

"The 3 million Syrians, who have already been forced out of their homes and are now in #Idlib, will suffer from this aggression".

Thousands of government troops and allied fighters have been amassing in areas surrounding Idlib.

While Russia has denied that the manoeuvres are related to a possible Idlib battle, its officials have struck a martial tone about the need for action in the province. Jeffrey and Rayburn will also reiterate to their Jordanian and Turkish counterparts that the United States believes a military offensive in Idlib will escalate the crisis in Syria.

Turkey has 12 military observation posts inside Idlib aimed at monitoring a de-escalation zone and media reports have said it has sent concrete blocks over the border to reinforce them in case of an assault.

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An attack on Idlib would be a "singular catastrophe", according to the Soufan Group, a New York-based company providing security analysis to governments and organizations.

HTS has controlled much of Idlib since 2015, acting as de facto governmental authority, facilitating trade across the long border with Turkey and organising aid deliveries.

It bracketed HTS as a variant name for Al-Nusra Front.

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 campaign for Idlib is likely to be the last major theater of battle after seven years of brutal civil war.

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