You can read 19 more articles this month
RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani backed the Syrian government’s imminent military offensive in Idlib province yesterday.
They took issue with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when the three leaders met at a summit in Tehran.
Mr Erdogan said Turkey could not take any more refugees from the conflict in neighbouring Syria, voicing fears that a full-scale offensive in Idlib province could send many more across the border.
“Idlib isn’t just important for Syria’s future, it is of importance for our national security and for the future of the region. Any attack on Idlib would result in a catastrophe. Any fight against terrorists requires methods based on time and patience.
“We don't want Idlib to turn into a bloodbath,” he stressed.
However, Mr Putin and Mr Rouhani insisted that it was essential to smash the opposition forces dominated by jihadists linked to al-Qaida and the Isis death cult.
“The fires of war and bloodshed in Syria are reaching their end” and terrorism must be “uprooted in Syria, particularly in Idlib,” said the Iranian president.
His Russian counterpart demanded the “total annihilation of terrorists in Syria,” declaring: “We think it’s unacceptable when someone is trying to shield the terrorists under the pretext of protecting civilians as well as causing damage to Syrian government troops.
“As far as we can see, this is also the goal of the attempts to stage chemical weapons incidents by Syrian authorities. We have irrefutable evidence that militants are preparing such operations, such provocations.”
There are about three million people – including thousands of the most intransigent jihadist fighters – in Idlib province and surrounding areas, many of them displaced from other parts of Syria.
President Bashar al-Assad’s allies in Moscow and Tehran have backed his insistence that the government must take control of all parts of the country, rejecting any idea of dual power or rebels continuing to hold some areas.
Both Damascus and Moscow have implored refugees driven out by the war to return and want Western countries to invest in Syria's postwar reconstruction.
However, the US and its allies remain preoccupied with dragging out the conflict for as long as possible to weaken the Assad regime economically.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.