Russian Federation confirms strikes on 'terrorist' targets in Syria's Idlib

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The ministry said it had targeted buildings used to store weapons and explosives including a facility used to assemble explosive-packed drones that rebels have used to attack Russian planes stationed at Hmeymim air base. Numerous residents are rebels and civilians who were bussed out of other areas as they came back under Syrian regime control.

On Tuesday the United Nations special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said panic was spreading among the 3 million citizens of Idlib province as he suggested the Assad government and its allies had set 10 September as the date for a full-scale bombardment of the last large rebel enclave.

Idlib is one of the "de-escalation" zones set up as a result of talks by Russia, Turkey and Iran a year ago as Damascus regained control of more of the country.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that dropping bombs and missiles on Syria's last rebel-held province of Idlib could cause a "massacre", in remarks published Wednesday.

"Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed". The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said they had killed 13 civilians, including children, but no fighters.

The White House said in a statement that President Donald Trump was monitoring the situation in the rebel-held Idlib province, where it said millions of innocent civilians are under threat of an attack by Assad's government.

"The regime and its backers must stop their military campaign in all its forms to allow the UN-led political process to have a chance to succeed", U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in a statement.

"We know that the Syrian armed forces are getting ready to solve this problem", Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday.

Russian presidential advisor Yuri Ushakov described the meeting as "very important".

Since 2011, Assad's regime has repeatedly been accused of using chemical weapons, including this year in its battle to retake the former rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus.

The future of Idlib is likely to be determined at a summit on Friday, when the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey will gather in Tehran to discuss the future of Syria.

The White House issued a statement Tuesday warning against "a reckless escalation of an already tragic conflict".

Western countries rushed to blame the incident on Damascus, with the USA launching a missile attack against Shayrat Airbase in Syria's Homs Province on April 7, 2017.

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