Trump warns Assad against "reckless" attack on Syria's militant-held Idlib US President Donald Trump has warned Syrian leader Bashar Assad not to attack Idlib province, one of the last terrorist hideouts in the country, also advising Iran and Russian Federation against taking part in the "potential human tragedy".
A spokesman for the Kremlin in Moscow dismissed Mr. Trump's warning about the looming offensive, saying it failed to address the root problem of "a nest of terrorists" in the province, where an estimated 3 million civilians also remain.
Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there was no doubt about the risks to civilians given Idlib's terrain and hard operating environment. "If major military operations take place we can expect humanitarian catastrophe and I think we would all want to see that be avoided", Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters during a trip to Athens.
Speaking at the meeting with the Syrian premier on Monday, Zarif hailed recent victories of the resistance forces against foreign-backed terrorists and said following the victories, the Syrian people and government will move toward their country's reconstruction.
Dunford recommended more tailored operations against the militants.
Russian jets carried out air strikes against rebel targets in Idlib on Tuesday following a respite of several weeks, raising the prospect that a ground offensive to recapture the northwestern Syrian province may soon follow.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Iran, according to Fars News.
Northwestern Idlib province is the final major swathe of rebel-held territory left standing in Syria after a series of sweeping pro-government offensives earlier this year saw the Syrian government reassert control over the majority of the country.
But U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on August 31 that Washington would consider an assault in Idlib by Assad's forces as an escalation of Syria's war.
Israel rarely acknowledges such strikes, but has recently targeted suspected Iranian posts inside Syria.
Further Iranian engagement in Syria meanwhile risks drawing Israel deeper into the conflict.
Turkey, which has closed its border to fighters and civilians, has vowed that a regime incursion into Syria would constitute a "red line".
He said he could not confirm the strike had been conducted by the US-led coalition present in the region.
Trump has sought better relations with Russian Federation since taking office in 2017 but the United States has been unable to rein in Moscow's military and diplomatic support for Assad.