19 Jul 2018 17:20

Syria's Idlib problems should be addressed carefully, delicately - Russian ambassador

MOSCOW. July 19 (Interfax) - The situation in Syria's Idlib is complicated, and a delicate approach should be taken toward settling problems in this de-escalation area, Russian Ambassador to Syria Alexander Kinshchak said.

"The situation in Idlib is complicated, as there is the highest concentration of fighters and terrorists there. The borderlines of this de-escalation area are very close at some points to important cities and facilities; for instance, they run virtually through an Aleppo suburb, not far from our airbase in Hmeimim, and it is precisely from that area that attack drones have flown toward Hmeimim, that is, they pose a real threat to us," Kinshchak said in reply to a question from Interfax.

"These problems need to be addressed, but they need to be addressed carefully and delicately, without attracting excessive attention," he said.

"Moreover, apart from the role played by external players, it should be taken into consideration that the Syrians themselves are tired of this war, of this thuggery and lack of security," Kinshchak said.

"I am not prepared now to draw parallels between Idlib and what's happening in the southwest. But if you look how the counterterrorist operation is unfolding in the southern governorates, you'll see that we achieve the result chiefly through negotiations, without using force," he said.

"The residents of these districts press on the fighters and make them accept the authorities' terms. I wouldn't rule out that we could have something like that in Idlib as well. But this will not be easy and will not happen soon," he said.