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Syria summit in Iran may decide Idlib military offensive

TEHRAN, Iran — The presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey will meet in Tehran to discuss the war in Syria, with all eyes on a possible military offensive to retake the last rebel-held bastion of Idlib.

The summit Friday, the third between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, may determine whether diplomacy halts any military action.

Northwestern Idlib province and surrounding areas are home to about 3 million people — nearly half of them civilians displaced from other parts of Syria. That also includes an estimated 10,000 hard-core fighters, including al-Qaida-linked militants.

Iran, Russia and Turkey all have their own competing interests over Syria. All also face U.S. sanctions under the administration of President Donald Trump.