The summit between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani may determine whether diplomacy halts any military action. As photographers took pictures of the three leaders Rouhani, smiling, reached for both of their hands.
The area in northwest Syria is home to some 3 million people - the majority of whom were displaced from other regions - as well as an array of Sunni rebels dominated by Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda.
"To fight terrorism in Idlib is inevitable and part of a mission to bring about peace and stability to Syria", he said.
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The conquest of Idlib will allow Syrian leader Bashar Assad to regain full control of the country and the Teheran summit meeting between Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is where the future of Syria is now being discussed.
Tehran and Moscow have helped Assad turn the course of the war against an array of opponents ranging from Western-backed rebels to Islamist militants, while Turkey is a leading opposition supporter and has troops in the country.
The three presidents, whose countries' are key foreign players in Syria's long civil war, were speaking at a summit in Tehran aimed at charting a way to end the conflict. "Peace must return to Syria", said spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in comments reported by Russian agencies.
A former Iranian diplomat, Ali Akbar Farazi, told IRNA the summit shows that solving regional issues "in a fair way that agrees with the interests of all sides" remains important for the three countries. The three leaders whose nations are all under USA sanctions have an interest in working together, but Idlib is complicated and they have little common ground.
For Turkey, the stakes couldn't be higher.
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Russian officials have said "terrorist" groups should be "liquidated", but the Russian military has also said it is seeking to separate out extremist fighters from other rebel groups supported by Turkey. Turkey has accepted 3.5 million refugees from Syria since the start of the war in 2011. The attacks prompted terrified residents to flee before a fully-fledged assault gets under way, said the monitor.
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The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on sources in Syria for its reports, said at least nine civilians - including five children from the same family - were killed in the raids, while 10 people were wounded.
Turkey also doesn't want to see another YPG/PKK-controlled area rise along its border, as it already faces in northern Iraq.
Syrian Army troops have been steadily fortifying positions along the front lines around Idlib over the past few weeks and are expected launch an all-out assault on the province in coming days.
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The US will chair a UN Security Council meeting Friday about the possible offensive.