With the United Nations warning of a potential "bloodbath" in Syria's Idlib province, the United States has warned President Bashar al-Assad it would respond "swiftly and appropriately" if he uses chemical weapons against his own people. "If they want to continue to go the route of taking over Syria, they can do that, but they cannot do it with chemical weapons", she said.
Russian Federation and Iran have together been Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's principal allies in obliterating a years-long effort by domestic rebels to oust the Syrian leader.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday urged Damascus against launching a battle to retake Idlib, the last major chunk of Syria still in opposition hands.
"We know that the Syrian armed forces are getting ready to solve this problem", Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said.
"I think the last chapter of the Idlib story has not been written".
The UN says almost three million people live in Idlib and global concern has risen in recent days over a threatened regime assault to oust rebels and jihadists from the province and surrounding areas. The Turks are trying to find a way out.
In a 2016 deal, it said, Qatirji was named the "exclusive agent" for providing suppliers to IS areas, according to the Treasury. The other pillar of USA policy was the complete withdrawal of all Iranian-commanded forces from Syrian territory, said the veteran diplomat, who was appointed last month.
The US Treasury announced sanctions Thursday targeting a network of business groups that supplies fuel to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, along with one that handles regime trade with the Islamic State group.
As sides close in on the remaining jihadist forces operating in Syria, Jeffrey said it was time for a "major diplomatic initiative" to end the seven-year conflict.
There was periodic cooperation between the United States and Russian Federation against the same jihadist groups operating in Idlib until mid-2017.
The Trump administration announced Tuesday afternoon that Russian Federation and Syria are gearing up to launch a mass strike in Syria on behalf of embattled President Bashar al-Assad, risking the lives of "millions of innocent civilians", according to an announcement.
Although the military campaign against the Islamic State has been almost completed, the administration has redefined its goals to include the exit of all Iranian military and proxy forces from Syria, and establishment of a stable, nonthreatening government acceptable to all Syrians and the worldwide community. The meeting will focus on Iran's nuclear program and its meddling in the wars in Syria and Yemen.
France has invited the United States, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Germany and Britain for talks on the sidelines of the U.N. meeting to discuss Syria, Jeffrey said.
He said Assad "has no future as a ruler" in Syria, but it was not up to Washington to get rid of him and it would work with Moscow on a political transition.
"Right now (the Syrian government) is a cadaver sitting in rubble with just half the territory of Syria under regime control on a good day", Jeffrey said.