Lavrov: Russia-Turkey Deal on Idlib Just Interim Step

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The decision by Russia and Turkey on Idlib is an intermediate step; the demilitarized zone will prevent the shelling of Syrian troops at Hmeymim base, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“As for the Russian-Turkish agreement on Idlib, it is aimed primarily at eradicating the terrorist threat. This is certainly an intermediate step, because only a demilitarized zone is being created,” Lavrov said.

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According to him, this is a necessary step, as it will prevent shelling from the de-escalation zone in Idlib on the positions of Syrian troops and the Russian military base in Hmeymim.

The Nusra Front terrorist group should leave the demilitarized zone in Syria’s Idlib province by mid-October, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

“Nusra Front terrorists should leave this demilitarized zone by mid-October; all heavy weaponry should be withdrawn from there,” Lavrov told a press conference.

Previously, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a meeting in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi, during which they have agreed to set up a demilitarized zone in Idlib by October 15.

The city of Idlib is the last remaining stronghold of anti-government insurgents and al-Qaeda-linked terror groups in Syria.

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