Any Military Operation Would be Disastrous for Idlib - Turkish Defense Minister
11:52 13.09.2018(updated 14:29 13.09.2018)
Any possible military operation in Syria's Idlib would be disastrous, Turkey's Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said as quoted by the Anadolu news agency, adding that Turkey was working alongside Russia and Iran to avoid the crisis.
At the same time, Panos Moumtzis, the UN regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, told reporters that Russia, the United States and the United Nations were currently engaged in humanitarian diplomacy at all levels in Syria's Idlib in hopes of averting a humanitarian catastrophe in the province.
"So humanitarian diplomacy is taking place at the moment at all levels to make sure that everybody works with the same objective to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe, and our fear is that the worst may still be ahead of us and that this will not happen on the ground," Moumtzis indicated.
He noted the crucial role of Russia and the United States' joint work in order to prevent a possible humanitarian catastrophe in the area, feared by Western countries in light of the looming offensive to recapture Idlib from terrorists.
The official further noted that the worst-case scenario in Syria's Idlib province, which would make the whole population of the area to flee their homes, would exceed the capacities of any humanitarian organization to respond to the crisis.
"Let me clarify: we are in no way ready for the worst-case scenario… Should we see 3 million people on the move heading towards the Turkish border, this is the scenario that by far outnumbers the capacities of all the humanitarian organizations put together," Moumtzis said.
The UN official went on to express hope that the situation in the crisis-torn region of Syria would improve.
"We hope for the best of a peaceful solution to prevail on the ground, we continue our preparedness to be able to respond. Preparedness plan is worth nothing unless the resources are in place to make it happen," Moumtzis added.
While the Syrian authorities have managed to regain control over most of the country's territories after several years of fighting against terrorists and opposition groups, the Idlib de-escalation zone remains a stronghold of the insurgents and extremists in Syria.
On August 25, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said that terrorists were planning to stage a false-flag chemical attack in Idlib in order to pave the way for Western countries' attacks against Syrian government forces.
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