"Many of the people who fled these other de-escalation zones fled to this location [Idlib]. There’s no place for these people to go, and the Russians have the narrative that there are terrorists in Idlib. That is a true statement. We share their concern about terrorism emanating from northern, northwest Syria. We absolutely agree with them there are terrorists in those locations and they need to be taken care of such that they don’t export terror around the world," Pompeo said on late Tuesday.
"It is not the way to do that [fight terrorism] to put the lives of all these innocent civilians at risk and create a humanitarian crisis, and I think that’s what you saw the President [Donald Trump] saying last night was we’re happy to work on the terrorism issue in this place… We are hoping that this can be resolved diplomatically," Pompeo said on late Tuesday.
Idlib province is one of Syria's de-escalation zones and a remaining stronghold of the insurgency in the country. The situation in the province has recently escalated with Moscow and Damascus suggesting that militants are planning to stage a false-flag chemical attack against civilians there to frame the Syrian government. On Monday, US President Donald Trump called on the Syrian government as well as Russia and Iran to prevent the Syrian army's possible offensive in Idlib.