Haley warns Russia, Iran of 'dire consequences' over Syria military assault

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Turkey is reinforcing its military posts inside Syria's rebel-held province of Idlib, Turkish and Syrian rebels sources say, seeking to deter a government offensive which it says would unleash a humanitarian disaster on its border.

The resulting impact on civilians has been dramatic, Laerke said, his concerns echoing those of UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, who a day earlier had issued a warning about a military escalation in Idlib, after a recent meeting with Syria government officials in the country's capital.

"We can not allow terrorists to hold hostage and use hundreds of thousands of people of Idlib as human shields", said Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia.

"In order for our efforts to succeed, guarantees must be given to civilians and moderate opposition groups that they will not be targeted once they separate from terrorists", Sinirlioglu said.

According to recent reports, on Saturday, a top America's general said that he was recently involved in a routine dialogue which was held between officials in the White House concerning military options in case Syria ignores USA warnings on using chemical weapons in the anticipated assault which is expected to go down on the enclave of Idlib province.

Syria has the backing of Russia, Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah resistance movement in its bid to rid the strategic province bordering Turkey of terrorists.

Tahrir al-Sham is the number one terrorist group of the Idlib operation on Turkey's border, according to Russian Federation and Syria.

In a bid to avert an assault, the top three powerbrokers in Syria's war - Russia, Iran, and Turkey -agreed on Friday to work together on "stabilising" Idlib.

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Two rebel commanders said Turkey had ordered the bulk of this force to move towards the Idlib frontlines.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said Syrian forces, backed by Russian Federation and Iran, had already launched 100 air strikes on Idlib this month and that their sole aim was "a bloody military conquest of Idlib".

"I also want to reiterate what I said last week to the Assad regime and anyone else contemplating the use of chemical weapons in Syria", Haley added.

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

He also noted Turkey's role in protecting the Syrian people, as it hosts the largest number of refugees in the world at 3.5 million. "It's just not my style", Mattis said when asked if and what kind of retaliation the United States military would carry out should the regime use chemical weapons in its offensive against Idlib.

Haley warned Assad and his allies that any assault on Idlib would be considered "reckless" by the USA and "the consequences will be dire".

United Nations humanitarian chief Lowcock said the United Nations and other aid agencies already have measures in place provide immediate assistance to fleeing civilians.

"We had to make these masks to protect our women and children just in case", said the 27-year-old, who says he learnt how to make them by watching a video online.