Earlier in the day, the Russian Defence Ministry's Reconciliation Centre for Syria reported that militants of the Al-Nusra Front terror organisation had attacked Syrian army positions in the Idlib de-escalation zone, near the settlements of Abu-Duhur and Abu-Sharjah.
"The current situation around Idlib is of serious concern. The situation in this de-escalation zone is rapidly deteriorating. The territory has actually been taken under the full control of militants from the al-Nusra alliance Hayat Tahrir al-Sham", Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday, adding that the provocations posed serious danger to civilians and Syrian troops in the area, as well as to the Russian Hmeymim air base.
Commenting on the changes in the area, the news outlet Middle East Eye reported last week that the "Free Syrian Police", a 3,300-person strong organisation which has received substantial support from the UK and the Netherlands, were dismantled after Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an alliance of jihadist groups including the Nusra Front, took over the greater part of the province.
*Al-Nusra Front, also known as al-Qaeda in Syria, is a terrorist group banned in Russia