Trump sends warning to Assad and his allies against Syrian military offensive

Andrew Harnik/AP

President Donald Trump issued a Twitter warning Thursday to Syrian strongman President Bashar al Assad and his backers Russia and Iran amid their assault on the last rebel stronghold in the war-torn country.

It’s at least the third time Trump has urged Assad and his allies to halt an operation on the Idlib province since last fall, as Assad tries to use his military to retake the country after nearly nine years of war.

Syrian government forces, backed by Iranian proxies and Russian air power, have moved into the northwest, taking dozens of villages in recent weeks. Over 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, while an estimated half a million more could be displaced if the violence escalates, according to the International Rescue Committee.

Trump has previously taken credit for quelling fighting after a ceasefire was reached between Russia and Turkey.

“Nobody’s going to give me credit but that’s okay. That’s okay because the people know … Millions of people have been saved,” Trump said on Sept. 26, 2018, weeks after tweeting a similar warning to Assad and Russia.

But since this spring, Assad’s forces have continued to creep into the rebel stronghold, with Iranian proxies and Russian warplanes — even after another Trump warning in early June.

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