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Iran ready to help Turkey with its concerns in Syria

08 February 2018

- Idlib: Military operations in what is one of the last rebel-held stronghold have resulted in increased casualties and the movement of civilians - about 1.2 million out of 2.4 million civilians have been internally displaced.

The SOHR said Tuesday's death toll was the highest recorded in Eastern Ghouta in more than a month.

More than 350 people - including 86 children and 68 women - have been killed in bombardments in Eastern Ghouta alone since December 29, SOHR says.

On Monday, Russia used a U.N. Security Council veto to block an investigation into the chemical attacks, something U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley says is an attempt to protect Assad. After seven years of conflict in Syria it appears many parties finally agree on something: they want the United States out of the country.

A Syrian man searches for people in a fire following regime air strikes on the rebel-held town of Douma
A Syrian man searches for people in a fire following regime air strikes on the rebel-held town of Douma

More than 100 fighters aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were killed after US-led coalition and coalition-backed local forces thwarted a large, apparently coordinate attack late on Wednesday and early on Thursday, a United States official said.

Turkish troops crossed the country's southern border into Syrian territory late last month, targeting the the majority Kurdish city of Afrin in northeast Syria. Damascus denied the White House's charges, and The Associated Press could not independently verify the reports of a chlorine gas attack. In October 2015, the US formed the Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition of Arabs and ethnic minorities that has been dominated by the YPG.

Mr Le Drian said global law was "being violated by the Damascus regime, by Iran and those who are attacking eastern Ghouta and Idlib", calling on all Iranian-backed militia, including Lebanon's Hezbollah, to leave Syria.

"Eastern Ghouta is a de-escalation area".

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In a statement Paulo Pinheiro said the spiralling violence in Syria had made "a mockery of the so-called "de-escalation zones" - an agreement past year between Russia, Iran, and Turkey to stabilise the lines of conflict and open corridors for urgently needed humanitarian relief.

Instead, the first weeks of 2018 have turned into one of the bloodiest periods of the conflict yet, with hundreds killed in airstrikes, almost 300,000 displaced in northwestern Syria and 400,000 at risk of starvation in a besieged area east of Damascus that has not received food since November.

"We implore the global community to speak with one voice, taking every opportunity to publicly pressure the Assad regime, and its supporters, to cease its use of chemical weapons", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement Monday night.

"We implore the worldwide community to speak with one voice, taking every opportunity to publicly pressure the Assad regime, and its supporters, to cease its use of chemical weapons and hold those responsible accountable for these brutal attacks".

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In apparent retaliation, rebel rocket fire on a government-controlled suburb of Damascus killed one child and wounded two people, state news agency SANA reported.

On Wednesday, the Syrian army said it intercepted an Israeli attack on a military position in Jamraya, northwest of Damascus.

The UN has named the Afrin region led by Syrian Kurds as one of the areas of interest.

The appeal coincides with the collapse in recent weeks of a year-old Russian effort to tamp down the violence through "de-escalation zones", which had helped contribute to a perception that the war in Syria finally was winding down. Almost five years later, more than 80 people were killed in another chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province. "If anything, these have been serious escalation areas".

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Iran ready to help Turkey with its concerns in Syria