Trump Warns of 'Humanitarian Crisis’ in Syria's Idlib

Published September 2nd, 2018 - 12:56 GMT
Syria's Idlib is facing a terrible 'humanitarian crisis'. (AFP)
Syria's Idlib is facing a terrible 'humanitarian crisis'. (AFP)
US President Donald Trump was suddenly interested in the situation in Idlib when he was warned of a "humanitarian crisis” there. Trump received direct information saying that Idlib is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis as three million people have been displaced from the city and other areas.

He was informed that a comprehensive military attack has been carried out against the city and people have no other place to go to.

The US president interacted with the information he has received and took several actions to prevent a crisis from taking place in the city.

The United States has since then carried out political and military actions to achieve several goals including "fighting terrorists without causing catastrophe” and keeping in mind the “chemical red line.” However, it is estimated that the margin of US action is limited due to the change in Syrian reality on the ground.

The Pentagon has first set up a "list of targets" in case chemical weapons were used. Second, Trump held a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other Western officials. Third, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also contacted his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to warn him against using chemical weapons. And finally, US diplomacy has warned Moscow, which had been accused in the past of turning a blind eye to Damascus using chemical weapons.

The US, France and Britain, which together launched limited attacks on Syrian installations in mid-April in retaliation for an alleged Syrian chemical attack, say their red line against illegal weapon use remains in force.

"As we have demonstrated, we will respond appropriately to any further use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime," they said in a joint Aug. 21 communique.

John Bolton, the national security adviser to Trump, similarly vowed that the US would respond "very strongly" to any chemical attack.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday accused Lavrov of "defending" the expected assault by Russian-backed Syrian forces on Idlib province, scene of the last rebel stronghold.

"The US sees this as an escalation of an already dangerous conflict," Pompeo said on Twitter.

Lavrov, for his part, called on the West not to stand in the way of what he described as an "anti-terror operation" in Idlib, which borders Turkey.

In language that seemed to confirm the imminence of an assault, he called Idlib an "abscess (that) needs to be liquidated," while adding that it was necessary to minimize risks to civilians.
This article has been adapted from its original source.

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