MOSCOW, September 7. /TASS/. The terrorists occupying Syria’s Idlib are destroying infrastructure in a desperate attempt to stave off Damascus’ mop-up operation, and their oppression of the civilian population is worsening, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Friday.
According to the diplomat, the terrorists in Idlib "systematically carry on destroying infrastructure. They blow up bridges and damage roads in a bid to buy time in order to get ready to stave off the Syrian government forces’ offensive, which they are expecting and fear."
"Arrests of civil activists are underway, who call for agreeing to a local truce between non-terrorist units of the armed opposition and Syria’s legitimate authorities," Zakharova said. "Terrorists block civilians from exiting the Idlib zone through open humanitarian corridors and kidnap residents of villages located on the contact line with the government forces deep in the provinces with the intent of using these innocent people as human shields."
"We call on our international partners, who demonstrate the utmost concern in public over the humanitarian crisis in Idlib that might occur in the event of Damascus’ offensive, to take into account the above-mentioned facts and draw a conclusion as to who is really setting up this crisis," Zakharova said.
Russia reaffirms its fundamental stance on the need to fully eliminate the terrorists across Syria and stresses that Moscow is doing its utmost to minimize human losses and damage to civilians in Idlib, the diplomat noted.
"We expect that those partners, who do influence these events, will contribute to attaining this goal by helping to separate the opposition units, which are ready to join the political settlement process, from terrorists," she stressed.