MOSCOW, September 10. /TASS/. The United States will try to take advantage of Russia’s success in Syria and stage new provocations, particularly in the country’s north, Adviser to the Director of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies Yelena Suponina told TASS on Monday.
"Russia has been making every possible effort to resolve the situation in Idlib without raising military tensions. This issue is still being discussed, particularly with Turkey, which has great influence on most of the armed groups active in this region and is capable of convincing them to lay down their arms and start a dialogue with the government," the expert said.
At the same time, in Suponina’s words, "Turkey has been also keeping an eye on processes going on in other areas of Syria, but now nothing can prevent it from increasing its role in the Idlib province, which could help resolve the issue without undue costs." "However, there is an understanding that it will not be easy for Ankara to achieve this task. Unfortunately, Turkey’s NATO partners do not support the joint efforts of Iran, Russia and Turkey to resolve the situation in Syria peacefully," Suponina added.
"These countries seek to maintain partnership thought it must be admitted that the Idlib events may reveal new disagreements within the group," she went on to say. "But the group’s members have managed to overcome them so far so there is hope that this cooperation will go on for the three countries and the Syrian people need it," she noted.
According to Suponina, "ongoing cooperation between Moscow, Tehran and Ankara, aimed at resolving the Syria issue peacefully, has clearly been annoying Washington." In her opinion, the US would like confrontation in the Middle East to continue "and will keep throwing sand in the wheels." "In the past several weeks, Washington has been sending negative signals meaning that the Americans have not abandoned one of their main objectives in the region, which is to overthrow the Syrian government," the expert pointed out.
Besides, she said that "the more successful Russia’s activities in Syria are, particularly in the country’s north, the more chance there is that the United States will stage new provocations to undervalue this success."
Idlib is the only Syrian province still controlled by illegal armed groups. In 2017, a de-escalation zone was established in the region, where militants reluctant to lay down their arms can move together with their families. According to United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, Idlib currently hosts about 10,000 militants from the Jabhat al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda terror groups (both outlawed in Russia).
Washington says that the Syrian government forces may carry out a chemical weapons attack in Idlib and warned that such actions will have serious consequences. Moscow believes that these statements point to preparations for a new attack on Syria.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on August 25 that militants were making preparations together with British intelligence services to stage a chemical weapons attack in the Idlib province and blame it on the Syrian government.