18 Sep 2019 10:29

Damascus' military campaign in Idlib to trigger humanitarian catastrophe, antiterrorist operations needed instead - Slutsky

MOSCOW. Sept 18 (Interfax) - The problem of terrorist presence in Syria's Idlib can be resolved with a series of antiterrorist operations, while a massive military campaign of Syrian government forces will trigger a humanitarian catastrophe, State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky said on Facebook.

"There is a situation in the Idlib province, which has practically fallen under the control of terrorists over the past year. It does not have a simple solution. On one hand, a massive military campaign will lead to a humanitarian catastrophe and a new outflow of refugees, and will irritate Turkey: Ankara fears another wave of refugees, the elimination of the pro-Turkish Syrian opposition in Idlib, and Bashar al-Assad's control over the entire Arab part of Syria," Slutsky said.

"On the other hand, Idlib cannot be allowed to remain a stronghold of Jihadists who are terrorizing the local population and launching attacks on other regions of the country. It seems a series of antiterrorist operations, rather than a massive offensive, would be necessary," Slutsky said.