Merkel Agrees With Putin on Need to Fight Militants in Idlib – Reports

World

The Syrian authorities earlier announced the beginning of a large-scale operation to liberate the province of Idlib, the last remaining terrorist stronghold in the country

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed support for Russia’s actions in Syria, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten reported.

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Commenting on the ongoing war in Syria and the looming operation in Idlib, Merkel told RTL that it was necessary to “make attempts” to fight radical forces, “but at the same time to protect civilians, which will be a very big, important task.”

The chancellor further revealed that she had discussed the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and  also stressing the need to “avoid a humanitarian catastrophe” in the war-torn country.

According to Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, the counterterrorism operation has been complicated by the fact that militants are using civilians as human shields, and have shifted the battle to inhabited areas.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that Washington also shared Moscow’s concerns over the presence of terrorist groups in Idlib.

“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…

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