Syria's Idlib province at risk of 'humanitarian catastrophe': UN chief

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Regime forces are planning to target the western town of Jisr al-Shughour and the al-Ghab plain, and the towns of al-Latamenah, Khan Sheikhoun and Maarat al-Numan in the south of the territory, the official said - but not yet Idlib city.

The reinforcement "comes as Russia's ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is believed to be considering a major assault on the last rebel-held enclave in northern Idlib province", says news site Al Jazeera.

Russian Federation has already accused the Washington administration of President Donald Trump of building up its own forces in the Middle East in preparation for a possible strike on Syrian government forces if they use chemical weapons.

If Russia were to counterattack US Navy ships firing on Syria, the US would most likely crush it in short order. RT looks at the aligning of forces ahead of the battle for Idlib.

And at the same time the HTS/AQ "rebels" have every incentive to bring to fruition what United States officials have this week so clearly laid out for them.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. To this day the worldwide chemical investigative body and watchdog, the OPCW, has yet to visit the site due to its being controlled by al-Qaeda forces.

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"We would encourage Russian Federation to make this point very clear to Damascus, that that will not be tolerated", she added. She also repeated that Assad would be held responsible.

Hundreds of reconciled fighters (Ex-rebel militants) have joined the ranks of the Syrian army in the military operation they will soon launch to clear the Idlib province from the terrorists.

A provocation with chemical weapons, staged by the jihadists, will be used as a pretext for the attack, and Damascus will again be groundlessly accused of poisoning its own people, Russian Federation said.

Landis said, "I don't know what to make of the US and Russian war of words over the potential use of chemical weapons in Idlib". They believe chemical weapons could be used if the rebels are able to slow regime advances.

"This suggests the United States is about to launch military action in support of rebels fighting against Assad's regime", Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian MoD, said on Monday.

"Using chemical weapons terrorizes civilians, so raising fear serves one goal: It is especially demoralizing those who oppose" Syrian President Bashar Assad, Borshchevskaya told Business Insider, adding that Assad may look to chemical weapons because his conventional military has weakened over seven years of conflict. They are republished from a number of sources, and are not produced by MintPress News.

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