Syria denies foreign attack on airbase west of Damascus

Marsha Scott
September 4, 2018

Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed.

President Donald Trump warned Syria and its allies Russian Federation and Iran on Monday against attacking the last major rebel stronghold of Idlib province in the country's northwest.

Syrian regime forces have gathered around the last opposition bastion in the northwestern province of Idlib near the Turkish border. "Don't let that happen!"

Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah have provided crucial military support to Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces in the civil war.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday taht Washington views any government assault on Idlib as an escalation of Syria's war, and the State Department warned that Washington would respond to any chemical attack by Damascus.

The leaders of Iran, Turkey, and Russian Federation are expected to meet in Iran this week to discuss the situation in Syria.

Earlier in the day, the top Iranian diplomat held separate meetings with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem and Prime Minister Imad Khamis.

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"Syria's territorial integrity should be safeguarded and all tribes and groups, as one society, should start the reconstruction process, and the refugees should return to their homes", Zarif said.

"And the remaining terrorists in the remaining parts of Idlib must be cleaned out and the region should be placed back under the control of the Syrian people".

The airport houses Syrian Air Force intelligence, and in early 2017 the Syrian regime accused neighbouring Israel of bombing the base.

Last week Iran and Syria signed a treaty making provision for Iranian engineers to play a role in reconstructing the Syrian military industry.

Ahead of the visit, the US State Department said Jeffrey, accompanied by US special envoy for Syria Joel Rayburn, would discuss "maintaining Israel's security while countering Iran's destabilizing activity throughout the region".

Zarif went to Sayeda Zeinab, a shrine south of Damascus revered by Shi'ites, as his first stop on the trip, according to Fars News.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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