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Bloodbath Expected as Russia, Iran, Syria, Turkey Unite for Final Showdown in Idlib

Bloodbath Expected as Russia, Iran, Syria, Turkey Unite for Final Showdown in Idlib Read Transcript


- [Announcer] This is CBN Newswatch.

- Thanks for joining us for CBN Newswatch.

I'm Mark Martin.

International observers are warning

of a potential blood bath as Syria

prepares to launch amassive military offensive

in the northern part of the country.

Here with more on this majorescalation in the region

is CBN's senior internationalcorrespondent George Thomas.

George.

- It truly is a major escalation Mark.

Residents of Syria's Idlibprovince took to the streets

today protesting against what many there

believe is an impendingassault on the region.

For weeks Syrian forcesbacked by Russian, Iranian,

and Turkish fighters haveencircled the province

which is now the rebel'slast stronghold position.

In the meantime leaders ofTurkey, Iran, and Russia

they met in Tehran to discuss how to limit

civilian casualties.

You see the three menthere standing talking

about the United Nationsis warning in the meantime

of catastrophic consequencesfor Idlib's population.

- The conflict in Syria has already caused

unspeakable sufferingto millions of people

forced to live under siegeor to leave their country.

We are deeply concernedabout the escalating

military action by the Syrian regime

and Russia in northwest Syria

with potentially catastrophichumanitarian consequences

for civilians.

- In the meantime theUnited States is warning

all parties againstany reckless escalation

and especially Mark, theuse of chemical weapons.

- George break this downfor us a little bit more.

Who are the Syrians thatare fighting in Idlib?

- So here's what we know.

There about 10,000.

The United Nations saysthere are about 10,000

Al Qaeda fighters today inside of Idlib

along with some about70,000 Islamic jihadists

from various groups.

Whether they're Isis, AlQaeda, Jamad, Al Nusra,

various groups,

they control Mark, closeto about 60% of Idlib.

- How many civilians arestill in the province

and what is their situation?

- That situation is quite dire.

There are about three anda half million residents

who are living in Idlib.

Keep in mind folks thatthese are not residents

who are originally from Idlib.

They were transferred.

They were ferried other rebel strongholds

over the last few years and sort of shoved

into Idlib.

And they are literally surrounded

from all sides and theyhave no way of getting out

of this situation.

They are caught in the crossfire.

- George as you mentioned the leaders

of Iran, Turkey, and Russiathey met in Tehran today.

What was the outcome of that meeting?

- In essence to try andprovide a safe corridor.

How do you get thesethree and a half million

residents out of the province.

Also the intelligence servicesbetween these three countries

said listen, let's sit down together

and let us go specifically

after the 10,000 Al Qaeda fighters,

these other 70,000 Islamic jihadists.

Can we share our intelligenceto say exactly where

these positions are and let's target them.

The Turks came to the table.

President Recep Erdogan,the President of Turkey,

came to the table sayinglisten hold up guys.

Can we create a ceasefire in order to avoid

a huge migration of refugees.

They are afraid that all these refugees

from the Idlib province will head north

to the Turkish border.

Turkey today already hasabout three and a half million

Syrian refugees.

They do not want anotherinflux of refugees.

- There's a lot going on here at home.

But is the United States involved in this?

- They are.

There are about 2,000 troopsstationed in Syria, Mark.

They're not involved inthis particular conflict.

They have like I said about2,000 troops stationed

in various strategic parts of Syria

in their ongoing battle against Isis.

But they're not directly involved in this.

But they're spoken of very clearly.

Ambassador Nikki Haleyat the United Nations

as well as the Presidentof the United States

has spoken directly to theSyrian regime, be careful.

- So what comes next?

- Well boy if I had a million dollars,

that would be the question, right.

Well many analysts, Mark,

talk about in essence the major battle

if you thought the last seven years

of this brutal civil war was bad,

what experts are saying what comes next

is gonna be quite, quite dangerous.

Because in essence you've got the Turks,

the Russians, the Iranianswho are trying to get

the piece of the pie called Syria

and what's in it for them after this.

And that is gonna besomething that we at CBN News

we are gonna be covering.

- We appreciate it our seniorinternational correspondent,

George Thomas.

Thank you George.

- You're most welcome.

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