Syrian army preparing phased Idlib assault

Posted August 30, 2018

There were still negotiations over the offensive going on between Russian Federation and Turkey, as well as with Iran which also supports Damascus in the war, the official said.

The US has made several mentions of this "looming" attack despite officials having conceded to the press several times that there is no evidence the Syrian military has made even a hint of deploying such arms. "It is passing through the critical stage and it is entering the very important stage of reconstruction", said Hatami, in comments carried by Iranian state broadcaster IRIB.

"We have shared the concerns we have about any potential offensive taking place with the Russian government at many levels", Nauert told reporters.

"Syrian-Iranian relations are a model for bilateral ties between independent and sovereign nations", Ayoub said.

Scott Morrison to replace Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull after party vote
Dutton, who Turnbull accused of bullying and intimidation in the move to knife him, pledged "absolute loyalty" to Morrison. Tony Abbott also chimed in, telling reporters "We've lost a prime minister but there is still a government to save".

Iranian forces have backed Assad in the country's civil war.

It also risks raising tensions with Turkey, whose army established a ring of observation posts around the rebel territory previous year under a "de-escalation" deal with Russian Federation and Iran.

Saudi Arabia has stressed to Russian Federation the need for a political solution to the Syria conflict, the foreign minister said on Wednesday.

The Russian and Turkish foreign ministers also discussed setting up a Syrian constitutional committee as quickly as possible and contributing efforts to assist the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.

Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop quits in fallout of PM's ouster
JULIE Bishop has confirmed she has resigned from her position as Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs. In Malcolm Turnbull's cabinet, Fletcher was the Urban Infrastructure Minister.

Reports suggest that Turkey is working with some so-called Syrian opposition groups in Idlib to take out terrorists so to fend off a military action by Assad.

"For understandable reasons, Idlib is the last major stronghold of terrorists who are trying to gamble on the status of the de-escalation zone and hold civilians as human shields and bring the armed formations ready for negotiations with the Syrian government to their knees".

"The Syrian government has the right to respond to any aggression against it, as has happened in the past".

Since Russia military intervened on Assad's behalf in 2015, the regime has regained much of the territory lost to rebels and jihadists in the early years of the war.

Lower Mainland air quality levels among the worst in recent years
Environmental regulators also issued a pollution advisory for southwest Washington, Portland and much of the Willamette Valley. Over the last week, all three Prairie provinces have been under special air quality statements for high smoke concentrations.

Assad last month said reconstruction was his "top priority" in Syria, where more than 350,000 people have been killed and millions forced to flee their homes.