23 Jan 2019 15:15

Situation in Idlib rapidly deteriorating - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. Jan 23 (Interfax) - The situation in the de-escalation area in Syria's Idlib governorate is rapidly deteriorating, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.

"The situation taking shape around Idlib is a cause for serious concern. The situation in this de-escalation area is rapidly deteriorating," Zakharova said at a news briefing in Moscow on Wednesday.

Territory in the de-escalation area in Idlib "has essentially been taken under the full control of militants from the al-Nusra alliance, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham [banned in Russia], through the ousting of moderate armed opposition units," she said.

"The number of ceasefire violations continues to grow. Since the Russian-Turkish memorandum of September 17, 2018 [on setting up the Idlib de-escalation area] was signed, over a thousand such instances have been recorded, in which 65 people have been killed and over 200 injured," Zakharova said.

Thirty ceasefire violations have been recorded in the past four days alone, she said.

"The ongoing acts of provocation pose a threat to civilians, Syrian servicemen, and the Russian airbase in Hmeimim," she said.