The consequences of a Russian-Syrian offensive into Idlib, Syria, against terrorists hiding there would almost certainly be a humanitarian disaster, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said to press.

US military planners believe there are better, more focused ways to go after terrorists who have taken shelter in Idlib.

“The consequences of a major offensive operation in Idlib will almost certainly be the suffering of a large number of innocent civilians,” Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford told reporters traveling with him.

A meeting in Tehran, Iran, yesterday among Turkey, Russia, Iran and the Syrian regime failed. Russian and regime forces have been building up around the enclave for days, and most observers expect the forces to attack into the area.

An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 fighters entered Idlib to hide among the hundreds of thousands of people who went to the northwestern Syria city to escape violence.

‘Disappointed, But Not Surprised’

Dunford said he is “disappointed, but not surprised” by the failure of the Idlib talks. The city was declared as a designated deconfliction zone.

“People were committed to approaching it as such,” he said. “It looks to us as if people are walking away from an agreed-upon approach to deal with Idlib.”

US military officials believe there is a more effective way to do counterterrorism operations than major conventional operations in Idlib.

The chairman said the United States was not talking about cooperating, but about using US capabilities to spot the terrorists – even in an urban environment – and take them out with a minimum of civilian casualties.

The chairman said he has not spoken with Gen. Valery Gerasimov, his Russian counterpart, since the crisis over Idlib began, and that he is not scheduled to speak with him.

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Steven
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Steven

Unlike Raqqa ? Unlike Fallujah, Iraq ? The US only cares about the civilian population when it suites their agenda.

farouk
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farouk

Steven wrote: “Unlike Raqqa ? Unlike Fallujah, Iraq ? The US only cares about the civilian population when it suites their agenda.”</B. To be fair. the US (As do all Western Nations) subscribe to the Geneva convention. Yes we may laugh and refer to the Yanks as blood thirsty planks, but the facts remain they led the way with low collateral damage weapons systems. The rest have simply followed. Now in Syria the Western nations used Precision-guided munitions in conjunction with a targeting pod. These weapon systems afford the user a very high level of accuracy which allows them to… Read more »

farouk
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farouk

Apologies for the caps.

Steven
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Steven

The US may not use barrel bombs but they do use depleted uranium and white phosphoros and they did’nt defeat ISIS in Raqqa they simply shipped them elsewhere so the US backed SDF could grab more Syrian territory.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/raqqas_dirty_secret

farouk
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farouk

“The US may not use barrel bombs but they do use depleted uranium and white phosphoros” No they don’t since the first and Second Gulf wars where DU 120mm APFSDS were used to knock out Iraqi armour, the US has changed tack and replaced a lot of its inventory of DU ammo and replaced it with Tungsten tipped stuff. That shift is widely reported in the public domain be my guest. Regards White Phosphorus, is is primarily used in smoke rounds, you have more to fear from the metal casings than you do the many strips of felt which have… Read more »

Elliott
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Elliott

Steven DU is still used by A-10s and American Abrams (exports are only sold tungsten ammunition) tanks also C-130 gunships that may encounter armor. Also depleted uranium has been unfairly maligned. If it is as bad as the typically hyperventilating green-lobby says it is multiple US Military bases would be glowing in the dark. All of the supposed birth defects the Iraqis reported in the 90s and early 00s are more likely due to lack of proper nutrition during the period of sanctions and destroyed infrastructure. Along with the Iraqis having a much higher rate than western countries of marriages… Read more »

farouk
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farouk

Finally, the UN instigated a report on the use of DU after the the first Gulf War. They came to the conclusion that the use of the DU in iraq didn’t constitute a risk. Hey I’m only reporting what they stated: Public health and environmental concerns Various international organizations, including the World Health Organization, have undertaken studies on the potential effects of DU on human beings and the environment. The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) continues to review the latest information in scientific literature on the effects on humans of internal exposure due to… Read more »

dave12
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dave12

I dont see the yanks using barrel bombs on towns

Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

A real risk of not only a humanitarian disaster, but the real chance of terrorists escaping to mainland Europe in any planned large scale evacuation of the area.

P tattersall
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P tattersall

Russia simply don’t have the modern weapons to avoid huge civilian losses . We2 bombs and gas .

P tattersall
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P tattersall

Russia are involved with Iran the big isis supporting nation . My God when the yanks decide to take a big country over like gulf wars fighting real armies it was done and dusted in weeks .. Russia even with the aid of the Syrian army can’t defeat a few rebels . This business in Syria shows just how weak russia are the only have one real weapon propaganda ..

dave12
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dave12

Yep I agree ,for example the T-14 tank is only going to be produced to a total of 100 as Russia cant afford to produce any more according to Janes defence.

Steven
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Steven

P tattersall, You think Iran supports ISIS ? That is too much. SMH.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Eh? ISIS and Iran??

Hezbollah and Hamas yes but ISIS????

Elliott
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Elliott

That would be Iran’s religious enemy. A terrorist is often simply another terrorist however in this case they like to bomb each other almost as much as they do others. As for Russian involvement in Syria? Not really a good comparison to American interventions in the Middle East and Latin America. Russia has only supplied air support (a fair amount to be sure), resupply of war material consisting of everything from rifles, tanks, and artillery, to boots and uniforms and training of the Syrian Army. The Russian ground involvement has been confined to a relatively modest ground deployment for SAR… Read more »

P tattersall
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P tattersall

Russia and Syria would be a disaster with out dated weapons they fall back on gas .

P tattersall
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P tattersall

Iran are now isis or the brother to isis .only a deluded fool could disagree