Erdogan, UN warn of human catastrophe in Idlib Al Jazeera News

UN warns 30,000 already displaced from Syria's Idlib

"People are trying to settle wherever they can in the hope of being protected from the air strikes".

"I never talk about what would come next", Mattis said.

The Russian defence ministry, citing Idlib residents, said film crews from several Middle Eastern TV channels - as well as "a regional branch of a leading United States news channel" - had arrived for the shoot in the city of Jisr Al Shughur in Idlib.

Idlib, which straddles the Turkish border, is mostly under the control of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) - a battle-hardened umbrella group of jihadists led by Al-Qaeda's former Syrian affiliate.

Airstrikes pounded southern Idlib and northern Hama over the weekend.

The UN has estimated 800,000 people could be displaced by an attack.

He also noted Turkey's role in protecting the Syrian people, as it hosts the largest number of refugees in the world at 3.5 million. "We will know that the Assad regime and its enablers are serious about a political process for peace in Syria not when they repeat their empty promises, but when they act".

United Nations officials warned that more than 30,000 people have already been forced to flee the region.

But he called on the global community to offer more support for the expected increase in refugees.

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Underscoring the necessity of preventing civilian casualties, he further called on Russia, Iran, the US, France and the United Kingdom as well as all other partners and actors in Syria to work together and find a peaceful solution.

"We very actively preparing for the possibility that civilians move in huge numbers in multiple directions", Lowcock said.

Almost half of Idlib's population of 2.9 million people had gone there to seek refuge from conflict elsewhere in Syria, including nearly 1 million children.

Pierce said the council faces "a choice", between a Syrian regime and Russian "military assault on Idlib in which, as many colleagues have said today, thousands of civilians will die", or "we allow Turkey and opposition groups the support, space and time to separate out the terrorists and tackle them themselves".

But officials admit that the wall has left those stranded in Idlib with little prospect of escape.

Russian Federation and Iran want to eliminate what they call "terrorist groups" in the province neighbouring Turkey.

Turkish forces and Turkish-backed opposition fighters now control an area between Afrin and Jarabulus where Ankara had hoped to resettle the millions of refugees.

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser said the United States, Britain and France had agreed that another use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government would result in a "much stronger response" compared to previous air strikes.

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