Filming of staged chemical attack in Syrian Idlib begins - Russian MoD

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Other critics cited by the Washington Post noted the Arab TV station that interviewed Black is affiliated with the terrorist organization Hezbollah, and he has also done recent interviews with Russia's state-controlled RT network.

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Howitzers and armored cars were also headed for the border with Syria's Idlib province on Monday, according to state-run Anadolu Agency, and the army reinforced 12 outposts on Syrian territory where Turkish soldiers along with Russians and Iranians monitor flare-ups of violence, according to reports.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said an all-out military assault on the last major stronghold of active opposition to President Bashar Assad could set 800,000 people to flight.

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.

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.

The rebel-held region of Idlib and adjacent areas are home to nearly three million people, half of whom have been displaced from other areas in the country, according to the UN.

There are estimated to be as many as three million civilians living in the province. Around half of them are already displaced from other parts of Syria.

"We are extremely alarmed at the situation, because of the number of people and the vulnerability of the people. civilians are severely at risk".

He said 47 percent of those displaced have moved to camps, 29 percent are staying with families, 14 percent have settled in informal camps and 10 percent are in rented accommodation.

In the neighbouring province of Hama, Russian jets carried out more than ten strikes on rebel positions in the village of Al-Latamneh, he said.

Erdogan warned that the Assad regime was preparing to launch "a massive offensive against Idlib" where some 3 million people live and is one of the few safe havens for internally displaced Syrians.

Syria has firmly denied claims that it's behind the attacks and instead blamed them on militant groups and foreign agents who are in Syria as aid workers.

"According to the data from the Idlib Governorate's residents, now the filming of a staged provocation of the alleged chemical weapons use by the Syrian army against the civilians is underway in Jisr ash-Shugur".

In a paper published on Friday, O'Hanlon and his colleagues at Brookings argued for a "10-degree shift" in US policy on Syria that includes maintaining the current military presence in the northeast and east, and working with Assad's allies, such as Russian Federation, to persuade him to eventually step down. Ankara wants to disarm these groups, while keeping the peace in Idlib.

Meanwhile, the Syrian government began a new round of artillery and rocket shelling in southern Idlib, and adjoining northern Hama Province, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group.

The presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey were meeting in the Iranian capital for a summit set to decide the future of Idlib province amid fears of a humanitarian disaster in Syria's last major rebel bastion. The Turkish defence minister Hulusi Akar demanded an end to the attacks, and again called for a ceasefire.