MOSCOW, September 5. /TASS/. The Kremlin has expressed great concern over the situation in Syria’s Idlib and announced plans for continuing discussions of the current events there with other countries.
"The situation in Idlib remains a matter of great concern and, of course, it is on the agenda of all contacts the Russian side carries out at all levels with the counterparts concerned," Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
He refrained from commenting on progress in the military operation and the current situation in Idlib, adding that such matters were a competence of Russian Defense Ministry officials.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on August 25 that militants in Idlib enjoying active assistance from British secret services were making preparations for what would become a faked chemical attack against civilians to be blamed on government forces. The provocation is to serve as a pretext for a missile strike by the United States, Britain and France against Syrian government and economic facilities.
Idlib is Syria’s only large area remaining in the hands of illegal armed groups. The northern de-escalation zone was created there in 2017 to accommodate the militants, who refused to accept reconciliation terms and lay down weapons, and their families.
According to the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, about 10,000 members of Jabhat al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda (both outlawed in Russia) stay in this area. Restoration of Damascus’s full control of the province will put an end to large-scale military confrontation in Syria.
On August 30, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov that Syria would push ahead with the operation to retake Idlib regardless of whether Washington and its allies might stage an attack on the pretext Damascus had allegedly used chemical weapons.