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"Whatever reason there is an attack that has been made or will be made will result in disaster, massacre and humanitarian drama", he said.

Speaking at the Security Council, Mrs Haly said the USA considered an assault on Idlib to be "a risky escalation of the conflict in Syria".

So the administration, which has criticized former President Barack Obama for his inaction on Syria after the war started in 2011, risks appearing powerless to prevent the three nations' plan to retake Syria's last rebel-held area. It is home to nearly 3 million people, including hardened fighters who refused to surrender elsewhere.

In Idlib itself, large crowds gathered in rebel-held cities across the province to wave the green and black flag of the Syrian revolution and to call for the worldwide community to protect them from assault. Hence, five months after he said he wanted America "to get out" of Syria, Trump has now agreed to a major escalation of USA action there. "Millions will be coming to Turkey's borders because they have nowhere to go".

Black said the Syrian government provided his lodging in Damascus, as well as an interpreter and ground transportation between Beirut and Damascus.

Russian jets had struck Idlib on Friday as well, before the talks in Tehran between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

At United Nations headquarters in NY, the Security Council met to discuss Idlib Friday at the request of the United States.

The U.S. also warned against an assault in Idlib, with Ambassador Nikki Haley telling the U.N. Security Council that "the consequences will be dire". Erdogan's efforts to reverse this played out live with the leaders and their delegations assembled around a giant white table as the press cameras continued, inexplicably, to roll.

A Syrian woman sits on a straw mat next to children outside a tent at a camp for displaced civilians fleeing from advancing government forces near the village of Sarman in the rebel-held northwestern Idlib province, September 1, 2018.

Tehran and Moscow have helped Assad turn the course of the war against an array of opponents ranging from Western-backed rebels to the Islamist militants, while Turkey is a leading opposition supporter and has troops in the country.

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It's been a year and half since he launched a ransomware attack that hit hundreds of thousands of computers across the globe. Prosecutors said the complaint was sealed for a variety of reasons and wasn't done to prevent derailing the Singapore talks.

The new sanctions will target four individuals and five entities tied to the Assad regime that are believed to be conducting weapons shipments and financial transactions supporting upcoming attacks against civilians. Iran and Russian Federation maintain that Damascus is right to deal with terrorist threats. "It is in their power to do so".

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani argued that "fighting terrorism in Idlib was an unavoidable part of the mission to restore peace and stability to Syria". "Here in Idlib, on one street you have people from all 14 governates in Syria", said Mostafa. "The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy", Trump tweeted earlier this week.

Mostafa said he had lost two brothers during the war, one killed by Isil and the other by the regime.

A day later, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expanded on the tweet, and renewed calls for the conflict to be resolved through the UN-led Geneva Process, which has been stalled for years. "We are not in a hurry", Jeffrey said, adding that he is "confident that the president is on board with this".

Another "tool" in the U.S. arsenal is economic pressure.

Mr. Hof says the only way to counter the "thoroughly unintended consequences" of such public messaging would be to warn Russian Federation privately that "Assad's business as usual - state terror - could draw a kinetic American response irrespective of the murder weapons". "By issuing a very public warning to Assad to avoid chemical warfare, the administration signals - intentionally or not - that mass civilian homicide by more conventional means will likely draw no United States response". Citing Israel alongside the United States the Iranian leader claimed the two countries will not achieve their goals by arming the anti-Assad forces.

U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura warned the council that there were "all the ingredients for a flawless storm" in Idlib and the United Nations was ready to work with all parties on evacuation routes if they were required.

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"Idlib isn't just important for Syria's future; it is of importance for our national security and for the future of the region", Erdogan said. "Work with us and the United Nations to find peace at last for Syria".