The UN's Syria peace envoy called Tuesday on the Russian and Turkish presidents to urgently speak to each other to help avert a "bloodbath" in rebel-held Idlib, as a military offensive appears imminent.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpBrennan defends Kaepernick: He didn't kneel "to disrespect our flag" Trump warns Syria against attack on rebel stronghold: "Don't let that happen" Omarosa celebrates second week on bestsellers list despite "hit-pieces" from Trump allies MORE reportedly wanted to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after a chemical attack on Syrian civilians in April 2017.
Last week, a source close to Damascus said the government was preparing a phased offensive to recover Idlib province, but Turkey, whose army has a string of observation posts around the edge of the rebel area, has warned against such an assault.
"Russian warplanes resumed bombing Idlib province after a 22-day pause", said Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
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Nearly two million people now in the area have already fled fighting in other parts of Syria.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump warned Syria's Bashar al-Assad against launching a "reckless attack" on Idlib.
Assad "must not recklessly attack Idlib Province".
Last week, Iran's defense minister traveled to Damascus and signed an agreement for defense cooperation between the two countries with his Syrian counterpart.
Towns and villages in the northern Idlib province, where Syria's rebels are holed up, came under intense airstrikes throughout Tuesday, killing at least eight people, according to a search and rescue group and a conflict monitoring group.
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Last year, they had designated Idlib as a "de-escalation" zone where violence would halt in preparation for a countrywide ceasefire. "It is from there (Idlib) that drones are launched to threaten our temporary bases [in Syria]", Peskov said. Restoration of Damascus's control of this province will put an end to large-scale military confrontation in Syria.
Asked about the possibility of Israel hitting Iranian military positions in "Iraq or Tehran", Lieberman said: "We do not limit ourselves to Syrian territory alone".
Britain, France and the USA, which together launched limited attacks on Syrian installations in mid-April in retaliation for an alleged Syrian chemical attack, say their red line against illegal weapon use remains in force.
Trump has sought better relations with Russian Federation since taking office in 2017 but the United States has been unable to rein in Moscow's military and diplomatic support for Assad.
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