DAMASCUS (Dispatches) – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister stressed that there is no other way to peace in Syria other than eradicating all terrorist enclaves in northwestern city of Idlib.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Tasnim News Agency, Sergei Ryabkov pointed to the ongoing developments in Syria volatile city of Idlib, and said, "I think by all means there is no other way, but to eradicate terrorist enclaves in Idlib. We think [that] this is of crucial importance for reestablishment of normal life in Syria altogether.”
He added, "You’re right when you’re saying that the so-called guarantor states which is Russia, Iran and Turkey have somewhat different use on what needs to be done and how should be done there, I also believe, although I [don’t] have straight forward evidence to this, but my belief is that Turkey is under a heavy pressure from the U.S. and some others on so-called western camp not to allow this operation to happen."
Syria has the backing of Russia, Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement in its bid to rid the strategic province bordering Turkey of terrorists.
Idlib hosts several militant groups backed by Turkey and other foreign parties – especially Western states, Israel and their regional allies.
The remarks came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned against what he called "the security and humanitarian risks” of an upcoming Syrian army operation to liberate Idlib Province, which holds the largest concentration of militant groups, including those backed by Ankara.
In an article published in The Wall Street Journal , Erdogan called on the international community to intervene as Syrian forces are gearing up for the Idlib liberation battle.
"All members of the international community must understand their responsibilities as the assault on Idlib looms. The consequences of inaction are immense,” he said.
Erdogan warned that the planned counter-terrorism campaign in Idlib "would also create serious humanitarian and security risks for Turkey, the rest of Europe and beyond,” apparently referring to a fresh influx of Syrian refugees in the wake of the Idlib battle.
"If the international community, including Europe and the US, fail to take action now, not only innocent Syrians but the entire world stands to pay the price,” he added.
Erdogan further stressed that not only the West, but also Turkey’s partners Iran and Russia are responsible for stopping a humanitarian disaster in Idlib.
Turkey on the one side and Iran and Russia on the other support opposite sides of the Syria conflict, but they have been mediating a diplomatic process between the warring parties since January 2017 aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Erdogan’s comments came as his country has been deploying heavy artillery tanks, howitzers and commandos to the Syrian border.
The photo released by Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News on September 10, 2018 shows Turkish military vehicles on their way to the Syrian border.