Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 05:32:14 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Fate of Syria's city Idlib in balance at Tehran summit

photo by

Iran\'s President Hassan Rouhani, left, Russia\'s President Vladimir Putin, right, and Turkey\'s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lock hands during a group photo in Ankara, Turkey.

By
08th-Sep-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

AFP, Tehran :
The presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey were due to meet Friday in Tehran for a summit set to decide the future of Idlib province amid fears of a humanitarian disaster in Syria's last major rebel bastion.
Hundreds of civilians have begun to flee the northwestern province as government forces and their allies ready for what could be the last-and bloodiest-major battle of Syria's devastating seven-year civil war, which has already left more than 350,000 people dead.
Seized from government forces in 2015, Idlib and adjacent areas form the final major chunk of Syrian territory still under opposition control. The province is home to some three million people-around half of them displaced from other parts of the country, according to the United Nations.
Neighbouring Turkey, which has long backed Syrian rebels, fears the assault could prompt an influx of desperate Syrians attempting to find safety on its territory.
But regime backers Russia and Iran have sworn to wipe out "terrorists" and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has declared his determination to retake control of the entire country.
Eight leading aid agencies warned Friday that "once again, it will be the most vulnerable who will pay the heaviest price". They appealed to world leaders to "urgently work together to avoid this horrific scenario".
Ankara, Moscow and Tehran are guarantors of the Astana process, a track of negotiations launched after Russia's game-changing 2015 military intervention which has eclipsed the Western-backed Geneva negotiations led by the UN.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani will host his Russian and Turkish counterparts Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday afternoon. Iranian television reported the three leaders would each have "bilateral meetings" on the sidelines of the main summit. They are also due to hold a press conference.
Just hours later, the UN Security Council will also meet, at Washington's request, to discuss Idlib.
The Tehran meetings could determine the scale and the timeline of the Idlib offensive, which the UN has warned may displace 800,000 people.
Idlib is dominated by the jihadist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, led by the former Al-Qaeda branch in Syria.
Russia wants Turkey, which borders the province, to use its influence to rein in the group and rival rebels.
Turkey has limited sway over the jihadists who control an estimated 60 percent of the province, but it backs other rebel groups and has 12 military "observation points" across the area.
Idlib's population has swelled as the regime chalked up a series of victories across the country, reaching evacuation deals that saw tens of thousands of people bussed there.
While Ankara has said it will try to prevent the assault taking place, both Moscow and Tehran confirmed their support for Assad.
Russia said the Syrian army was preparing to solve the problem of "terrorism" in the rebel stronghold.
"We have killed, we are killing and we will kill terrorists... whether that be in Aleppo, Idlib or other parts of Syria," said Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
Her Iranian counterpart, Bahram Ghassemi, assured Damascus of Tehran's support and willingness to "continue its role as adviser and help" for the Idlib campaign.
Al-Watan, a Syrian newspaper close to the government, reported Monday that the army's operation is likely "to immediately follow the summit".
Tehran has said it wants to help Assad's forces to rid Idlib of rebels with the "least possible loss of human life", while Moscow said efforts were ongoing to separate "normal fighters from terrorists".
"Some people have been optimistic for the prospects of a deal, a reprieve, in Idlib because of Turkey's difficult economic circumstances," said Sam Heller, an analyst with the International Crisis Group.
Any new flood of refugees towards Turkey would come at a time when Ankara is "vulnerable," he told AFP, adding it would be a "huge new burden on Turkey and would overwhelm its humanitarian capacities."
Each of the three nations has its own interests in the yearslong war in Syria.
Iran wants to keep its foothold in the Mediterranean nation neighboring Israel and Lebanon. Turkey, which backed opposition forces against Syrian President Bashar Assad, fears a flood of refugees fleeing a military offensive and destabilizing areas it now holds in Syria. And Russia wants to maintain its regional presence to fill the vacuum left by America's long uncertainty about what it wants in the conflict.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Accidents at level crossings


A newly-married couple and eight others of the bridal party were killed when a Dhaka-bound train rammed their microbus at an unmanned level crossing in Sirajganj's Ullapara upazila on Monday evening. The fatal accident has spoiled unmet dream of the couple. It's due to utter negligence of the Railway Authorities ...

Football »

Argentine sport court member advices Messi to apologize


AP, Buenos Aires :Lionel Messi should apologize for his harsh comments at the Copa America in order to avoid a sanction, an Argentine member of sport's highest court said on Monday.Following defeats in the last two finals, Messi had another frustrating end to the tournament when he was sent off ...

International »

Government restrictions on religion increasing worldwide


AP, New York  :Government restrictions on religion have increased markedly in many places around the world, not only in authoritarian countries, but also in many of Europe's democracies, according to a report surveying 198 countries that was released Monday.The report released by the Pew Research Center, covering developments through 2017, ...

International »

Erdogan hails S-400 deal as Turkey marks 2016 coup bid


AFP, Istanbul :President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday hailed the controversial delivery of a Russian missile defence system despite the threat of US sanctions, as Turkey marked the third anniversary of a bloody coup attempt.Just days before the anniversary, the first batch of the Russian S-400 defence system was delivered ...

Business & Economy »

HMD Global launches two Nokia Smart Phones


Economic Reporter :HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, launched Nokia 3.2 and Nokia 2.2 in Bangladesh.The Launching ceremony was held at a city hotel on Tuesday.  Farhan Rashid, Head of Business of HMD Global Bangladesh, Raquibul Kabir, Managing Director of Union Group, Syed MostahidalHoq, Managing Director of Daraz Bangladesh ...

Entertainment »

Lea Michele to star in Same Time, Next Christmas


Actor Lea Michele is set to star in ABC's Christmas movie titled Same Time, Next Christmas. In the movie, the Glee alum will play Olivia Henderson, a young woman who meets her childhood sweetheart during her family's annual Christmas visit to Hawaii. After being separated by distance and time, the ...

Entertainment »

Amala Paul reveals she is in a relationship


Actress Amala Paul, who is awaiting the release of her upcoming film 'Aadai' on July 19, has revealed that she is in a relationship. It is to be noted that the pretty actress fell in love with Director Vijay while working for 'Deiva Thirumagal' and the duo got married in ...

Cricket »

Cricket World Cup team of the tournament


England won the World Cup for the first time after beating New Zealand in Sunday's thrilling final at Lord's, bringing the curtain down on a dramatic event featuring some superb individual performances.AFP Sport names its team of the tournament:Rohit Sharma (India)The 32-year-old emerged as the tournament's star batsman, making history ...

Cricket »

I will be apologising for rest of my life - Stokes on overthrows drama


Ben Stokes has been saying sorry a lot lately. His latest apology was to the people of New Zealand for one of the most outrageous sporting flukes that contributed to England winning the Cricket World Cup at the expense of the country of his birth.Stokes had already broken New Zealand ...

International »

Iran tanker will be freed after guarantees, says Britain


British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt sought to ease tensions with Iran on Saturday, saying a tanker held by Gibraltar would be released if Tehran guaranteed it was not heading to Syria.He said he had a "constructive call" with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, who he said assured him that ...

Entertainment »

Deepika’s Veronica stays etched; shares sneak peeks as Cocktail turns seven


Bollywood’s leading lady Deepika Padukone gave an electrifying performance in one of her most strongly essayed characters- Veronica which stays as one of her most memorable characters. As Cocktail clocks seven years today, the actress took to social media to give a shout-out to one of her most rebellious characters ...

Cricket »

Mashrafe begins practice amid concern over his Sri Lanka tour


Amid the widespread apprehension over his Sri Lanka tour following a hamstring injury that kept him at bay throughout the World Cup, Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza began practice at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Sunday.He was seen spending busy time in gymnasium and latter running at the Stadium, ...

Editorial »

Lee Nak-yeon's visit to strengthen Dhaka -Seoul ties


THE official bilateral talks between Bangladesh and South Korea held at the Prime Minister's Office in Dhaka on Sunday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her South Korean counterpart Lee Nak-yeon led their respective sides. After the talks, a number of bilateral instruments on trade, investment and cultural fronts were signed. ...

International »

Israel threatens 'crushing' response to any Hezbollah strike


AFP, Jerusalem :Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday warned the head of Lebanon's Tehran-backed Hezbollah that "crushing" retaliation would follow any attack, after its leader said the group's rockets could reach Tel Aviv."Over the weekend we heard (Hassan) Nasrallah's boasting about his attack plans," he said at the start ...

Entertainment »

Nishita Barua`s new songs


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Anybody can identify the voice of Nishita Barua by virtue of her vocal. It is really a matter for a singer to introduce herself by her ‘signature voice.’ Nishita has been getting positive response from the listeners from the beginning of her career in music. With her ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news