30,000 flee in Syria as United Nations fears century's 'worst' crisis

Turkish minister warns of mass migration from Idlib

And Haley warned Assad and his allies for a second time that any assault on Idlib would be considered "reckless" by the US and "the consequences will be dire. The world will hold them responsible", she told the Security Council.

"We invite the global community to vocally and actively support our efforts to this end", Sinirlio─člu told the U.N. Security Council during a session on the Syrian province.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis declined to say Tuesday whether the U.S. would take military action against the Syrian regime should it use chemical weapons, but he did say Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has "been warned".

A further complicating factor for Turkish aid agencies is that many civilians themselves are now carrying arms for protection, making it harder to distinguish them from fighters.

A Syrian regime offensive on the opposition province of Idlib could lead to the 21st century's worst loss of life.

"We've been hearing the regime and Russian Federation threaten to bomb us with chemical weapons", said Hadheefa al-Shahhad.

Violence has displaced 30,000 people in Idlib and the adjacent province of Hama this month alone.

However Russia's Syria envoy said on Tuesday it would be up to Turkey to separate terrorist elements from the moderate opposition.

USA officials have said in recent days they have evidence that Syrian government forces are preparing chemical weapons ahead of a planned assault on Idlib.

"A tragedy that will occur in a possible [military] operation in Idlib is not only Turkey's problem but Europe's as well", Yildirim said.

The comments came four days after the Turkish president met his Russian and Iranian counterparts for a summit in Tehran, where Erdogan sought to avert a bloody assault in Idlib.

For weeks, regime troops backed by Russian Federation and Iran have massed around Idlib's periphery, with deadly air strikes, shelling, and barrel bombs falling with increased intensity in recent days. "That's something we're monitoring very closely", OCHA spokesman David Swanson told AFP.

He said 47 percent of those displaced have moved to camps, 29 percent are staying with families, 14 percent have settled in informal camps and 10 percent are in rented accommodation.

Speaking at the UN Security Council meeting on the crisis in Syria, Mrs Haley said the "world has seen a clear military escalation" from Assad and his allies, whose militaries have conducted over 100 airstrikes in the Syrian province of Idlib.

Some three million people are living in Idlib, half of them Syrians who have fled from other parts of the country.

"In this sense, a military operation in Idlib would only play into the hands of terrorists", he said.

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