Powers cite need for peace in Idlib — UN official

UN chief pushes for protection of civilians in Syria's Idlib

The government officials in Syria have repeatedly said that the reconciliation is a priority in Idlib, or else there will be a wide-scale offensive to retake Idlib, which is the last major rebel stronghold in Syria. "We will continue our efforts with Iran and with Russian Federation".

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"Such a meeting is possible and is being prepared", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

Turkey, already hosting 3.5 million Syrians, says it can not take in another wave of refugees.

Last week, the United Nations warned that such an offensive would likely lead to the "worst humanitarian catastrophe of the 21st century".

The battle could bring an end to a seven-year-old uprising-turned-civil war, but at the cost of a humanitarian disaster on a scale yet unseen in the bloody conflict.

A second source, an official in the regional alliance that supports Assad, said there was a "political tug of war" over Idlib, accompanied by air strikes on militants from Tahrir al-Sham.

He and "a number of experts" plan to take part in the meeting on Syria in Istanbul on September 14.

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He called on Russian Federation to use its influence on the regime to avert a massive military attack, and prevent the use of chemical weapons by the regime. Mr Erdogan and Mr Putin failed to agree on a ceasefire at a three-way summit in Tehran last week which also involved Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Some 4,500 - or 11 percent - returned home spontaneously in the last two days as the violence decreased.

The UN says almost 40,000 people fled their homes over the past two weeks amid fears of a full-scale assault and after heavy Russian and regime bombardment at the weekend.

"Turkey is open to cooperation with everyone regarding efforts to fight terror groups in Syria", he added. "But killing everyone - civilians, women, children - like this in the name of fighting terrorist organizations is not right and is not humane", he said on a visit to Pakistan.

"We can not bring peace that way". The most powerful of these groups is Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra; it is an affiliate of Al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization the U.S. holds responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. The group is dominated by the former Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda.

A wall along the border between Turkey and Syria is pictured at the Syrian town of Atimah, Idlib province, in this picture taken from Reyhanli, Hatay province, Turkey October 10, 2017. The Turkish army controls the areas next to its border and has set up 12 military observation posts in the rest of the region.

Erdoğan met with the leaders of Iran and Russian Federation last week in Tehran to discuss Syria, but a concrete ceasefire pledge did not came from the meeting. President Tayyip Erdogan wrote on Tuesday that an offensive would spark humanitarian and security risks for Turkey, Europe and beyond.

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