Conflict in Syria’s Idlib expected to produce wave of refugees – Turkish PM

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Friday that increased conflict in the northwestern Syrian rebel-held Idlib province would lead to a new wave of refugees heading towards his country, Reuters said.

A Syrian government offensive against Idlib, supported by Iran-backed militia, has gathered pace and displaced tens of thousands of people since November, Reuters quoted the United Nations as saying.

"Carrying out increased attacks in Idlib will cause new migration waves and victimisation there. This is very dangerous and wrong," the agency quoted Yıldırım as saying after Friday prayers.

It was very wrong, he said, for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces “to launch an offensive, without differentiating civilians, in order to gain land ... while the initiative by Turkey, Russia and Iran on a lasting peace in Syria has made progress."

He said he was talking to Russia and Iran to try to stop Assad advancing on the city.

"We are discussing this issue with Russia and Iran, we are making our warnings regarding the potentially horrible ramifications of Assad's attacks.”