12:39 GMT09 April 2020
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    The Syrian president previously underlined that the authorities would give civilians the opportunity to leave the province before the operation to liberate it begins, which, according to him, "would not take much time".

    US President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to applaud Turkey's efforts to "stop the carnage" against civilians in Idlib province, which he claimed Russia, Iran and Syria are responsible for.

    Liberation of Idlib

    Since mid-December, the Syrian Army has been clearing the province of terrorist formations, including Daesh* and Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as the Nusra Front*. Idlib remains a major terrorist stronghold, being home to an estimated 10,000 jihadists from various factions.

    Earlier this month, the Russian foreign minister indicated that Idlib needs to be completely liberated from terrorists and returned to being under the country's control.

    He, however, noted that Turkey still had trouble separating opposition fighters from terrorists in Idlib.

    Russia and Turkey agreed in 2018 to establish a demilitarised zone in Idlib along the contact line between the armed opposition and government forces.

    Russia, Iran, and Turkey are guarantors of the ceasefire in Syria, which has been embroiled in a civil war for eight years.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) and Al-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra, known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham are terrorist groups banned in Russia

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