U.S. Says ‘Grave’ Consequences if Syria’s Al Qaeda Dominates Idlib Province

Peace and Freedom

AMMAN — The United States warned a takeover of rebel-held northwestern Idlib province by Syrian jihadists linked to a former al Qaeda affiliate would have grave consequences and make it difficult to dissuade Russia from renewing bombing that recently stopped.

In an online letter posted late on Wednesday, the top State Department official in charge of Syria policy, Michael Ratney, said the recent offensive by Hayat Tahrir al Sham, spearheaded by former al Qaeda offshoot Nusra Front, had cemented its grip on the province and put “the future of northern Syria in big danger”.

Image result for Idlib province, photos, 2017

Civil defence team members extinguish a fire after an airstrike hit Idlib, Syria on 27 April 2017 [Bilal Baioush/Anadolu Agency]

“The north of Syria witnessed one of its biggest tragedies,” said Ratney who was behind secret talks in Amman with Moscow over the ceasefire in southwest Syria announced by…

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