False-Flag Chemical Attack Is Coming in Syria, Warns Russia

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan last week failed to secure a pledge for a ceasefire in Idlib from Russian Federation and Iran, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main backers, at a trilateral summit in Tehran.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Erdogan said the West had an "obligation to stop the next bloodshed" but that regime allies Moscow and Tehran were "likewise responsible for stopping this humanitarian disaster".

Last week's summit in Tehran between the three sides did not produce any agreement, as Iran and Russian Federation rejected Turkey's call for a continued ceasefire in the rebel bastion.

The Turkish president also criticized Assad's attempt of trying to legitimize an attack as counter-terrorism efforts.

Last month, 14 moderate opposition factions unified under a single umbrella group dubbed the National Liberation Front (NLF).

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"There needs to be ways of dealing with this problem that don't turn the next few months in Idlib into the worst humanitarian catastrophe with the biggest loss of life in the 21st century", Mark Lowcock told reporters in Geneva.

Turkey is backing rebel groups and has troops in the country's north.

Russia, Iran and Turkey held a summit in Tehran last week to discuss the Assad regime's reported plan to use military force to restore Damascus' control over Idlib, where three million people live.

Turkish security sources on the ground in Idlib told MEE that they had visited areas where members of HTS, other fighters and civilians were all living in the same building and all carrying weapons.

Turkey already has sheltered more than 3 million Syrian refugees and fears that a large-scale military operation in Idlib could lead to the influx of some 2 million more.

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Beyond the risky prospect that the strikes could escalate the conflict (particularly given the Russian and Iranian presence in the country), they would also make it more hard for the United States and Russia to cooperate on a shared plan in Syria. On September 20, the UN envoy is expected to present a report about developments concerning the Syrian political process to the United Nations Security Council.

"They pledged complete Turkish military support for a long, protracted battle", a senior FSA commander who was privy to talks in recent days with senior Turkish officials said, requesting anonymity as he was not authorized to speak publicly.

Russian Federation and Iran have accused the United States of hijacking the UNSC in September for their own and allies' gains in Syria.

Unless Russia or the United States makes a significant miscalculation or causes a severe accident, it is unlikely that either will escalate their dispute in Syria to the point of active hostilities.

"The attack being prepared by the Syrian regime with Russia's backing is extremely unsafe", he added.

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