16:02 GMT04 April 2020
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    DAMASCUS (Sputnik) - Syrian government forces will regain control over the whole of the country's territory, including the Idlib de-escalation zone, through peaceful means or war, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said on Tuesday.

    "The same way we won back every piece of land in Syria we will secure victory in Idlib. Our message is clear to all concerned in the matter — we will go to Idlib whether with war or with peace. But, we prefer to go the Syrians in Idlib with peace. Those who count on Americans should understand very clearly that the Syrian army will go to all Syrian territories and will establish there control and authority of the Syrian state," Mekdad said, as quoted by the newspaper al-Watan.

    Earlier in September, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a meeting in the Russian city of Sochi and agreed to set up a demilitarized zone in Idlib along the contact line of the armed opposition and government forces by October 15.

    READ MORE: Top US Officials Offer Competing Reasons for Protracted Occupation in Syria

    Territories in the northeast of Syria are controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the United States.

    Meanwhile, the Daesh* terrorist group has suffered repeated military losses to the Russia-Syria-Iran coalition and the SDF, becoming almost entirely eradicated from the country in 2017. 95 percent of the area formerly run by Daesh in Syria and Iraq has been liberated. According to a live map of the conflict, Daesh currently only contests one region in the country — Deir ez-Zor.

    READ MORE: Turkey, Israel to Lose Out Most if Syria Gets S-300 From Russia — UAE Think Tank

    *Daesh — a terror group, banned in numerous countries, including Russia

    military operation in Syria, Idlib, Syria
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