Posted on September 4, 2018
In a tweet he warned of “a grave humanitarian mistake” in which hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Syrian government forces are said to be preparing a huge offensive on the last major rebel stronghold in the country. The UN says such a campaign could have disastrous consequences for thousands of civilians. The US state department also warned on Monday that Washington would respond to any chemical attacks by the Syrian government or its allies. With rebels defeated in most of Syria, the offensive in the northern province could prove to be the last major battle of the Syrian civil war. According to a UN estimate, there are about 30,000 al-Nusra and al-Qaeda jihadist fighters still holding out in Idlib. Sources quoted by Reuters news agency said that President Bashar al-Assad was preparing a phased offensive. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said “terrorists” must be wiped out in Idlib, accusing them of using civilians as human shields.