Trump warns Assad against ‘recklessly attacking’ Idlib

By Muhammed Bilal Kenasari

WASHINGTON (AA) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday warned Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad not to “recklessly attack” Idlib province amid reports of a potential military offensive by regime forces.

“President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province. The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy,” Trump posted on Twitter.

“Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don’t let that happen!” he added.

Located near the Turkish border, Idlib is home to more than 3 million Syrians, many of whom fled from other cities that were attacked by the Assad regime’s forces.

In May, Idlib was designated a “de-escalation zone” — in which acts of aggression are expressly forbidden — as part of ongoing peace talks in the Kazakh capital, Astana.

Earlier Monday, Germany and France expressed concern about a possible major offensive in the region.

Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who arrived in Damascus Monday for talks ahead of a planned trilateral summit on war-torn Syria, said the Al-Nusra and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist groups “must be cleaned out of Idlib”.