Turkey is reinforcing its military posts inside Syria's rebel-held province of Idlib, Turkish and Syrian rebels sources say, seeking to deter a government offensive which it says would unleash a humanitarian disaster on its border.
The threat of force comes after Russian Federation and Iran brushed off objections from the USA and Turkey to back a Syrian operation to wrest Idlib from some 70,000 opposition militants.
On Tuesday, Erdogan said Russian Federation and Iran were also responsible for stopping a humanitarian disaster in Idlib, and said the worldwide community had to "throw its weight behind a political solution".
Russia's Defense Ministry has said that a fake chemical attack on civilians has been filmed in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib.
The resulting impact on civilians has been dramatic, Laerke said, his concerns echoing those of UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, who a day earlier had issued a warning about a military escalation in Idlib, after a recent meeting with Syria government officials in the country's capital.
"The consequences of inaction are huge".
Pointing to a U.S. missile strike on a Syrian air base in April 2017 after Assad's jets launched an alleged chemical attack in Idlib, Mattis noted that the Syrian leader had suffered massive losses to his air force.
The Turkish leader also criticised Assad s bid to legitimise the fight in Idlib as a counter-terrorism operation.
Turkey is willing to cooperate with Assad allies Russian Federation and Iran in rooting out terrorists in the region, which is home to some 3 million people, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday.
The province is marbled with areas controlled by Islamists, moderate rebels and militants from Hayat Tahrir Al Sham HTS - an extremist group previously aligned with Al Qaeda.
The civil war has claimed some 350,000 lives since 2011.
It says it can not take more refugees, and Turkish aid and security officials say that in the event of conflict in Idlib they would seek to shelter displaced people inside Syria rather than hosting them on Turkish soil. Eight jihadists were also killed in subsequent clashes in the area, which is the jihadists' last bastion in Sweida, the Observatory said.
State news agency SANA reported heavy clashes with Daesh in the area, adding that regime aircraft and artillery "targeted hideouts and positions" held by the group.
There are now around three million people in the province, according to United Nations estimates.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the fighters died in clashes with the militants on Monday night in the Safaa region in the Syrian desert.
She said the Astana process, designed by Moscow to negotiate peace in Syria, was a failure.