Actions of the Syrian army in Idlib are a natural response to distance terrorists from the outer perimeter of the de-escalation zone, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“Since terrorists and militants collaborating with them themselves do not want to move away from the external perimeter of the de-escalation zone and continue their provocative actions, naturally, they are moved away from this perimeter so that they are as far away as possible from those objects that they are trying to strike”, – Lavrov said at a press conference following talks in Moscow with the Jordanian Foreign Minister Hussein Abdullah al-Safadi.
He emphasized that these actions by the Syrian armed forces are a response to the flagrant violation of the Idlib agreements.
“At the same time, contrary to some estimates, I emphasize that the Syrian troops are pushing the militants and terrorists not on the foreign territory, but on their own one, thereby restoring control of the legitimate government of the SAR over their lands”, – the minister said.
The armed conflict in Syria has been ongoing since 2011. In accordance with the agreement reached in May 2017 at the talks in Astana (now Nur-Sultan) by representatives of Russia, Iran and Turkey, four de-escalation zones were created in Syria. The territory of three of them in 2018 came under the control of Damascus. The fourth zone, located in the province of Idlib and parts of the neighboring provinces of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo, is still not subject to the government of the republic. Moreover, most of it was captured by terrorists from the Jebhat al-Nusra group* banned in the Russian Federation. In September 2018, Russia and Turkey agreed in Sochi on the creation of a demilitarized zone in Idlib, where there are more than a dozen different units.
* – A banned terrorist group in Russia.