Diplomats from Iran, Russia, Turkey meet United Nations envoy on Syria

Intense air raids reported on edge of Syria's rebel-held Idlib

On Sunday, government forces bombed the village of Hobeit in Idlib province, killing an infant girl and wounding several other civilians, the Syrian Civil Defence search-and-rescue group said.

A top United Nations official warned Monday that an attack on rebel-held parts in Syria's Idlib in coming months could lead to this century's worst loss of life as government forces pounded the area from the air and ground.

U.S. officials have said in recent days they have evidence that Syrian regime forces are preparing chemical weapons ahead of a planned assault on an opposition and rebel-held enclave in Idlib in the northwestern part of the country.

On Friday, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan openly disagreed with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at a press conference in the Iranian capital.

Trump himself warned early last week that an attack by Assad on Idlib would make the U.S.

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

Haley blamed Russian Federation and the regime for allegedly carrying out more than 100 airstrikes, some of which she said were "ruthless double tap" strikes targeting first responders. They later went to southern Syria, only to move again in a withdrawal deal when government forces defeated rebels there around two months ago.

According to US officials who have cited intelligence reports, Syrian President Bashar al Assad has approved the use of chlorine gas in the upcoming military operations in Idlib, The Wall Street Journal reported September 9.

Turkey, which has recently sent reinforcements to its borders to prevent the influx of more refugees, now hosts more than three million Syrians.

An influx of displaced people has roughly doubled the Idlib region's population to around 2.9 million people in recent years.

Although the presence of Turkish forces in Idlib could complicate Damascus' plans to retake the province and risk direct military confrontation between Turkey and Syria, the Syrian government has insisted it will liberate Idlib even if Erdogan does not withdraw his forces.

Violence has displaced 30,000 people in Idlib and the adjacent province of Hama this month alone.

"They hit with four rockets so we escaped with our flock", he said.

Idlib marks the latest critical juncture in a seven-year conflict that's killed more than half a million people.

Trump has already launched two retaliatory strikes against Syria since taking office in response to chemical attacks that killed civilians, the second of which was done in conjunction with British and French forces.

Russia, which has been assisting Assad in purging the terrorists since 2015, has echoed the same point, specifically naming the White Helmets activist group as the real perpetrators of the Douma attack.

Russian and Syrian warplanes resumed their bombing campaign last week and the presidents of Turkey, Iran and Russia on Friday failed to agree on a ceasefire that would forestall the offensive.

Syria's conflict has killed more than 350,000 people and forced millions more out of their homes, but the United Nations has warned a full-blown attack on Idlib could bring unprecedented suffering.

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