19:38 GMT19 January 2021
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    Terrorist groups entrenched in Syria’s Idlib province staged numerous demonstrations in an attempt to sway public opinion ahead of a rumored military offensive by Damascus.

    With everyone's attention is stuck on Syria's Idlib province, the last major terrorist stronghold in the country, it suddenly erupted in a series of "mass protests," orchestrated all across the province.

    As seen on Syria.liveuamap.com, the protests erupted simultaneously all across the province on Friday, with all the actions looking very similar to each other. The protests feature green, white and black flags used by armed Syrian opposition groups since 2011; videos of the protests feature people singing "revolution songs," led by a singer with a microphone.

    ​Interestingly, many photos published on social media and aggregated by Liveuamap, prominently feature Turkish flags. In at least one photo there are almost as many Turkish flags as there are opposition flags.

    ​"The rebels are our hope; Turks are our brothers; the terrorists are Bashar, Hezbollah and Russia," reads one protest banner, according to an AP report.

    The demonstrations were reported on the activist-run sites Aleppo Media Center and Orient News, as well as other social media pages.

    "The demonstration aims to prove to the international community, Russia and the regime that this is a popular revolution and not terrorism, as they claim," one of the protesters said, according to AP.

    The terrorists in Idlib are surrounded by government forces preparing for a final offensive. A chemical weapons strike was prepared by the White Helmets as a way to justify a Coalition strike against Syrian government forces, Sputnik reported earlier this week, citing the Russian Ministry of Defense.

    For its part, the US State Department has said the allegations targeted at the White Helmets are false, while the Pentagon maintains the White Helmets are a strictly "humanitarian organization."

    In the meantime, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that any moderate opposition groups who were ready to engage in dialogue with the Syrian government have been "crushed" by the terrorist groups in Idlib.

    "Idlib is the only prominent stronghold of terrorists, who use their favorite tactics: they use civilians as human shields; they crushed most armed opposition beneath them," he said.

    Speaking at a German-Russian forum in Berlin Friday, Lavrov underscored that the militants repeatedly tried to attack both Syrian forces and the Russian air base in Hmeimim using custom-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

    "One time, the drone even managed to drop an explosive, but since then all UAVs are being destroyed," he said.

    Lavrov also rebuked the rumors surrounding the upcoming offensive by the Syrian government.

    "What is being presented at the moment as the beginning of a Russian-backed offensive by Syrian forces is not a faithful representation of the facts," Lavrov said.

    "Syrian forces and us, we are simply reacting to the attacks coming from the zone of Idlib," he argued, noting that Russia is concerned about Idlib civilians' welfare.

    "We will take care on these issues. We will establish humanitarian corridors, set up cease-fire zones, and we are doing everything to ensure that the civilian population will not suffer," he said.

    Earlier during the course of the war in Syria, Russia organized humanitarian corridors which enabled civilians to leave the war zone before the liberations of Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta.


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