22:59 GMT +318 March 2019
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    Syrian northwestern city of Idlib.

    Syria's Idlib Liberation More Likely By Military Op Than Ceasefire - Minister

    © AFP 2018 / Mohamed al-Bakour
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    DAMASCUS (Sputnik) - The province of Idlib in the northwest of Syria is the last remaining stronghold of armed groups in the country, including the Nusra Front* terrorist organization.

    The liberation of the Syrian province of Idlib from militants via a military operation is more likely than through a ceasefire due to the region specifics, Minister of State for National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar said Tuesday.

    "Idlib differs from other areas in that there are many militants, this is their last resort, and Turkey is trying to keep Idlib to itself… In other areas, the work moved along in two main directions, ceasefires and a military solution, this is the basis that there was, but at the moment, the military operation seems more likely than a ceasefire due to the aforementioned reasons," the minister said.

    READ MORE: Kremlin: Drones Launched by Idlib Terrorists Threaten Russian Bases in Syria

    Haidar added that the attempts to conclude ceasefire agreements continue, however, it is more difficult in Idlib than it was in other provinces, where Damascus was negotiating with the civil population. In Idlib, militants have detained about 500 people supporting a dialogue with the central authorities, according to the Russian center for reconciliation.

    Haidar stressed that the center for the reconciliation had a central role in the negotiations, trying to contact militants through Turkey.

    The situation in Idlib has recently escalated amid reports on terrorists preparing a false-flag chemical attack against civilians, set to provoke western nations into launching a military action against the Syrian government, which they have already accused of chemical attacks against civilians.

    *Jabhat Nusra, also known as Al-Nusra Front is a terrorist group banned in Russia

    The views and opinions expressed by Ali Haidar are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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