"This means we are not in a hurry to pull out", said Ambassador Jim Jeffrey, the newly appointed United States special representative, noting that creating conditions in Syria where ISIS or another terrorist group can't return may take a while.
Russia, which has been building up forces in the region, said it's only targeting al-Qaeda fighters, and accused the US of preparing to fake a chemical attack to justify new intervention.
The opposition forces that are now in Idlib have expressed their hope that Turkey, their main ally, will prevent the attack from Russian Federation and Al-Assad.
Part of the motivation for this change is uncertainty about whether Russian Federation is willing or able to help get Iran - which along with Russian Federation is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's closest ally - out of the country.
Russian warplanes then carried out a second wave of strikes on the same target, preventing rescue workers from extracting victims from the rubble, he said.
The presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey will meet Friday in Tehran to discuss the war in Syria, with all eyes on a possible military offensive to retake the last rebel-held bastion of Idlib. "There is lots of evidence that chemical weapons are being prepared".
"So we want to take this opportunity to remind Assad and his Russian and Iranian partners: you don't want to bet against the United States responding again", she said.
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Turkish newspaper Sabah Gazetesi leaked highlights of the Turkish proposal on Idlib, indicating that Erdogan will propose a plan that would see Turkish forces on the ground who are already manning checkpoints around Idlib oversee the dissolution of 12 armed groups, including the former al Qaeda-affiliated group HTS.
Turkish proposals also included creating a safe corridor for fighters who hand their weapons over to the Turks to move to a buffer zone controlled by the Syrian opposition. Yet the goal remained to have the roughly 2,200 USA troops in Syria exiting sometime this fall.
"Any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation", Jeffrey told a few reporters in his first interview on the situation in Syria since his appointment.
Diplomatic traffic has intensified lately on the negotiations on Idlib, amid rising concerns in the worldwide community due to an imminent offensive by the Syrian regime. "The Turks have shown a great deal of resistance to an attack", he said.
Idlib is the last stronghold of terrorists in Syria, and Moscow has been recently voicing huge concerns that the U.S. is apparently attempting to keep them in the area.