Russia warns gunmen in Syria’s Idlib

MOSCOW, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned on Tuesday that the Russian forces deployed in Syria would confront “provocative acts” by gunmen in the embattled northwestern region of Idlib.

Speaking at a news conference, Lavrov said “we have informed the concerned parties that we will robustly confront any provocative actions by the gunmen in Idlib against (the government) Syrian forces, the civilians or the Russia air base in Hmaimeem.” “We have also told our partners the Turks that we will retaliate for provocative acts by the gunmen in Idlib,” Lavrov said, noting that the previously crafted accord on keeping tension low in Idlib “does not mean a cessation of fire against the terrorist groups.” Lavrov added that the Turkish observation posts in Idlib could not prevent the gunmen from carrying out such acts, blaming “militants for the current situation there.” A Turkish military convoy was hit earlier this week in an air strike; said to have been carried out by the air force of the Damascus regime. The attack coincided with sporadic fighting along the frontlines surrounding Idlib between the armed opposition groups and forces of the Syrian regime.

Russia and Turkey have been seeking to settle the situation in the highly volatile region within the so-called Astana track of negotiations.

Source: Kuwait News Agency