Tuesday, September 4

"US, Turkey Agree 'Any' Syrian Offensive in Idlib 'Unacceptable' - US State Dept"

Uh oh. Has President Erdogan pulled a switcheroo?  Or is this just more fog of war? Elijah Magnier's sources told him:
Turkey has offered substantial information, which has been added to Syrian intelligence and Russian information gathering. This has created a bank of objectives against HTS, Tanzim Hurras al-Deen (THD) and all the other jihadists and foreign fighters in the city and its rural area.
However, while Turkey has finally designated HTS a terrorist organization --

... it is still trying, to date, to convince its leader Abu Mohammad al-Joulani, an ex-ISIS (ISIL/Daesh) Emir, to dissolve its group and join, with his 12 to 15,000 men, the pro-Turkish groups in the north. Turkey also asked Joulani to detach himself from all foreign fighters so that the city of Idlib can be spared the assault, since Damascus is determined to recover every inch of Syria, including Idlib.

We'll just have to see what comes from the Russia-Turkey-Iran summit in Iran on, uh, oh dear I can't remember -- soon. A few days.   

23:36 - 04.09.2018 (updated 23:46)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke on Tuesday over the phone with his Turkish counterpart, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, about the situation in Idlib, Syria.
The statement on the call, attributable to State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert, takes a stronger position against than the one taken by US President Donald Trump the day prior.
"President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province. The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy," Trump tweeted on Monday. "Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don’t let that happen!"
Now, it appears that the State Department and the White House aren't exactly on the same page. While Trump cautioned against a "reckless attack," the State Department, in conjunction with the Turkish Foreign Ministry, is calling "any Assad military offensive" in Idlib "unacceptable."
Pompeo and Cavusoglu "agreed that any Assad regime military offensive in Idlib would be an unacceptable, reckless escalation of the conflict in Syria," the statement reads.
As the government, backed by Russian air power, has liberated major cities and districts from the jihadists since the start of the war more than seven years ago, they have allowed them evacuation into Idlib. On Friday, the United Nations Security Council will convene and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley will discuss the situation in Idlib, she told reporters on Tuesday.

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