United Nations warns 30,000 already displaced from Syria's Idlib

United Nations warns 30,000 already displaced from Syria's Idlib

The UN has estimated 800,000 people could be displaced by an attack.

The United Nations has accused Syria of launching dozens of chemical weapons attacks using both sarin and chlorine gas, and in response to two particularly devastating incidents, the USA used military force to persuade the Syrian regime to adhere to acceptable warfighting methods.

He said 47 per cent of those displaced have moved to camps, 29 per cent are staying with families, 14 per cent have settled in informal camps and 10 per cent are in rented accommodation.

During the seven-year Syrian conflict, the West has accused Damascus on a number of occasions of using chemical weapons against the civilian population.

"It is a very major preoccupation for us", he said.

"I have 30 sheep".

A new offensive on Idlib would likely uproot 800,000 people, the United Nations warned, causing major problems for relief agencies.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday warned Syria and its backers Russian Federation and Iran against launching a full-scale offensive in Idlib, saying the rebel-held province "must not be transformed into a bloodbath".

A Syrian government offensive in the country's northern region of Idlib would cause humanitarian and security risks for Turkey, Europe and beyond, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday in an article in the Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile the bombs keep falling.

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There were also attacks from Idlib province on a Russian air base and on Syrian government positions, which made the situation untenable.

"In Idlib, we have to employ different approaches that require time and patience", he said, reiterating that there could be no military victory in Syria.

On Monday, its humanitarian chief made an urgent appeal.

The province is marbled with areas controlled by Islamists, moderate rebels and militants from Hayat Tahrir Al Sham HTS - an extremist group previously aligned with Al Qaeda.

A further complicating factor for Turkish aid agencies is that many civilians themselves are now carrying arms for protection, making it harder to distinguish them from fighters.

Russia's repeated claims of an orchestrated chemical attack have given rise to fears that Assad's forces will once again deploy toxic gas against civilians.

Idlib is the insurgents' only remaining major stronghold and a government offensive could be the war's last decisive battle.

"It is possible to abstain from using military force", Alexander Lavrentiev told reporters after talks in Geneva with United Nations envoy Staffan de Mistura.

As troops massed for a Russian-backed offensive in the northwest, Kurdish-led rebels launched a US-backed assault in the east to oust the Islamic State group from its last redoubt in the Euphrates Valley, the US-led coalition confirmed.

Turkey, afraid of hundreds of thousands of new refugees will flow to its borders, already hosts over three million refugees.

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