Berlin concerned over humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib

By Ayhan Simsek

BERLIN (AA) – Germany warned Russia and Syrian regime on Tuesday of a big humanitarian catastrophe in northern Idlib province if they begin a large-scale military offensive against the last opposition stronghold in the country.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said such a move could spark an enormous humanitarian emergency in Idlib, which is home to more than 3 million people, many of whom fled from other cities.

"What we are seeing in Idlib is an imminent danger of the next humanitarian crisis," he told an international conference at the German Foreign Ministry.

He said Germany and its European partners will do everything to prevent that.

"Tomorrow, I will travel to Turkey and talk to my Turkish counterpart. Turkey has a key role as regards to Idlib and its future," he said.

On Tuesday, Russian warplanes bombed several areas in Idlib, raising worries of a major assault by the Assad regime forces and its allies.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are scheduled to meet in Tehran on Friday for a trilateral summit on Syria.