Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister says Moscow and Damascus will give a crushing response to the terrorists in Idlib province, Syria.

Iran Press/Europe: Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov said at a news conference on Monday that terrorists systematically stage provocations and attack the positions of the Syrian army and communities and also the Russian airbase, Hmeimim, with multiple rocket systems and drones.

Lavrov added: “Neither the Syrian army nor Russia will allow such outrages to go unanswered and we will respond with a crushing retaliation,” Iran Press reported citing Press TV.

The top Russian diplomat also called for the immediate separation of Syria’s opposition from terrorist groups in the Idlib de-escalation zone, in line with an agreement reached between Russia and Turkey last year, to prevent further provocations by armed groups.

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Turkey and Russia, Syria’s close ally, brokered a deal in September 2018 to create a demilitarized zone in Idlib that would be evacuated of all heavy weapons and militants. Militants have, however, persisted in their stay in the zone and refused to leave the area.

Furthermore, terror outfits have repeatedly violated the agreement by launching numerous attacks on outposts held by the Syrian army and Russian forces.

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The Russian foreign minister further criticized certain foreign parties for pursuing reckless aggressive policy of interference in the region which, he said, has led to the illegal traffic of weapons, oil, artifacts and drugs in Syria and in the entire region.

Idlib remains the only large area in the hands of anti-Damascus militants after government forces — backed by Iran and Russia — managed to undo militant gains across the country and bring back almost all of Syrian soil under government control.

It is estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 militants are active in the volatile province.

In recent weeks, Syrian armed forces have been conducting counter-terrorism operations in areas surrounding Idlib.

The Syrian army has warned civilians to leave Idlib amid preparations for a final military campaign to flush the terrorists out of the region. If Idlib is retaken by Syrian government forces, it would mark a certain defeat for the militants.


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