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Washington stands in the way of fight against terrorists in Idlib, says Russian diplomat

Idlib is the only region in Syria remaining in the hands of illegal armed units

MOSCOW, August 22. /TASS/. The US is impeding fight against terrorism in Idlib province in the northwest of Syria, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview with the Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn (International Affairs) magazine.

The diplomat said Washington currently rejects all positive developments in the country. "It hurts Americans to see that others are doing something useful, that is why they are impeding a normal settlement of the problem of fight against terrorism in Idlib," the diplomat said in the interview, parts of which were uploaded to the magazine’s website.

"They keep the base in Al-Tanf, they are turning a deaf ear to the arguments absolutely evident to an impartial onlooker that the armed forces cannot stay on the territory of another state without the invitation of the legitimate government," he went on to say.

He stressed that Moscow is making every effort to liquidate the terrorist threat and normalize life in Syria. "We are working on this trajectory with a wide circle of international partners. A joint [humanitarian] operation with France was a success, we are working with international humanitarian organizations," Ryabkov said.

"Unlike the US and the coalition it leads, we are in fact, not in word moving towards gradual stabilization and normalization of the situation in that country together with the guarantor countries Turkey and Iran," he went on to say.

Idlib is the only region in Syria remaining in the hands of illegal armed units. In 2017, a northern de-escalation zone was established there, where militants who have refused to participate in the reconciliation process and to lay down arms, can move with their families.

Turkey, which is guarantor of the Syrian ceasefire together with Russia and Iran, is responsible for stability in the province. Russian military in Idlib together with the Syrian authorities have organized in Idlib a humanitarian corridor through which civilians can leave the province controlled by the militants.