Turkey warns military solution in Syria's Idlib will 'cause catastrophe'

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The statement also said a group of militants "trained in handling poisonous substances under the supervision of specialists from the private British military company "Oliva" arrived in the town a day earlier.

"The militants are tasked with imitating the rescue of victims of chemical weapons' use in the vestments of the notorious White Helmets", Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov noted.

Al-Aridi added: "Also, we have to take into consideration around 70,000 Free Syrian Army troops who would not stand still.

The attack, involving 59 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, came as a response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Idlib province on April 4.

According to Konashenkov, "unfounded" statements vowing to respond to chemical weapons' use by the Syrian government made by a number of high-ranking representatives from the US, UK and France serve as indirect evidence of the preparation of another "act of aggression against Syria by the United States and its allies".

The Idlib region, a refuge for civilians and rebels displaced from other areas of Syria as well as jihadist forces, was hit by air strikes and shelling last week, in a possible prelude to a full-scale government offensive.

The date of the Tehran summit of the three countries involved in the Astana process (Russia, Iran, Turkey) will be announced soon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters following talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday. Meanwhile, UN has invited Iran, Russia and Turkey for a fresh round of talks on Syria in Geneva next month. Most of the rebels in those zones were allowed to go to Idlib under a deal with the Syrian government. It borders Turkey to the northwest but is otherwise nearly totally surrounded by regime territory, prompting fears the government would eventually attack it. Idlib is a strategically important province adjacent to Latakia, a regime stronghold on the Mediterranean coast that is home to Assad's clan.

France, which backs the opposition, says it will not support reconstruction of areas under Assad's control until there is a negotiated political transition under United Nations auspices.

Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the relations between Russia and Turkey are becoming more profound, meaningful, and the deep cooperation is being carried out in a solution of the Syrian crisis, RIA Novosti reported.

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