Syria's Idlib under 'violent' air strikes after Tehran failure

Syria's Idlib under 'violent' air strikes after Tehran failureAl Munţār (Syria) (AFP) – Syria’s last major rebel bastion Idlib was Saturday targeted by the “most violent” Russian air strikes in a month, a monitor said, after the failure of a three-way summit on the Syrian conflict. The renewed strikes came a day after the leaders of rebel backer Turkey and regime allies Russia and Iran failed at the summit in Tehran to agree on how to stave off a threatened offensive on the northwestern province of Idlib. Aid organisations have warned that any military campaign to retake the region of nearly three million people on the Turkish border could spark one of the worst humanitarian disasters in Syria’s seven-year war.


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Tehran summit expected to seal fate of Syria's Idlib

Tehran summit expected to seal fate of Syria's IdlibThe presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey meet Friday in Tehran for a summit expected to shape the future of Idlib province, home to Syria’s last major rebel bastion. The summit comes as Syrian forces look poised to launch a major assault that is raising fears of a humanitarian catastrophe on a scale not yet seen in the seven-year-old conflict. Damascus and its main backer Moscow have vowed to root out the jihadist groups that dominate Idlib province but the outcome of Friday’s meeting could determine the scope and the timing of an offensive.


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Iran unveils new fighter jet as president says US 'knows the consequences' of an attack on Tehran

Iran unveils new fighter jet as president says US 'knows the consequences' of an attack on TehranIran unveiled a new fighter jet as President Hassan Rouhani ratcheted up tension with the US by suggesting Washington would not attack the Islamic Republic because it was too powerful. Iran has expanded its military presence in the region by sending troops to support President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war, but years of sanctions have reduced its air force to several dozen old aircraft. The new Kowsar, claimed to be a domestically-built jet, was unveiled at a ceremony as Mr Rouhani said Iran should be prepared to confront its enemies. “We should make ourselves ready to fight against the military powers who want to take over our territory and resources,” he said. “Why does the United States not attack us? Because of our power, because it knows the consequences,” he said. The new Kowsar fighter jet is claimed to be a domestically-built jet Credit: AFP Iranian television footage showed clips of the aircraft taxiing and taking off. It is named after a word that appears in the Quran which means “an abundance of good,” and is interpreted by some as a reference to the Prophet Mohamed’s progeny whom Shia Muslims revere.  Iran had previously unveiled in 2013 another domestically built fighter jet dubbed Qaher – vanquisher in Arabic – but there were doubts that it could even take off.  The Kowsar is capable of carrying various weapons and will be used for short aerial-support missions, according to state news agency Tasnim. Kowsar refers to a river in paradise and is the title of a chapter in the Koran. The ceremony on Tuesday came days after the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei also said Iran’s military prowess would deter an armed confrontation with the US, which pulled out of an international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear programme in May and reimposed sanctions. US President Donald Trump had warned Iran not to threaten his country. Last month, he wrote on Twitter in an all cap message that Iran would “suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered” if Tehran threatened the US. He has also has offered to meet Iran’s leadership, saying “if they want to meet, that’s fine, if they don’t want to meet, I couldn’t care less,” in an interview on Monday with Reuters. Iran has rejected the offer and said the US could not be trusted. “It’s not only us who do not trust America. Today even Europe and China do not trust them, even American allies like Canada have lost their trust.”


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