Turkey pushing for Idlib ceasefire, says foreign minister


Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on September 14 that his country was trying to achieve a ceasefire in Syria’s northwest Idlib region, where rebels – including proscribed terrorist groups – and pro-Assad forces have been fighting since early September.

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Millions of civilians are trapped in the region, the last bastion of rebel support in Syria. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on September 11 that a full-scale battle “would unleash a humanitarian nightmare unlike any seen in the blood-soaked Syrian conflict.”

President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and their allies are thought to be preparing a major offensive against the province. An influx of displaced people has increased the area’s population to roughly 2.5 million people. A group of United Nations-led health agencies said the attack could displace over 700,000 people.

Who are the combatants?

  • Rebel groups – add more details
  • Syrian government forces

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What’s at stake in Idlib?

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Which countries are involved?

  • Russia
  • Iran
  • United States
  • Turkey
  • Add more details here

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On September 9, Assad’s forces bombarded the area, while insurgents took down another bridge in anticipation of a major government attack, according to UK-based monitor The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

On September 3, U.S. President Donald Trump told Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies in a tweet not to “recklessly” attack Idlib province, the last rebel-held bastion in northwest Syria.

Trump said hundreds of thousands of people could be killed and warned Russians and Iranians against “making a grave humanitarian mistake.”

Other examples of Trump setting red lines for Syria?

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