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Moscow rebukes Trump’s tweet on Idlib, says it will strike ‘terrorists’ there who attack civilians

Moscow rebukes Trump’s tweet on Idlib, says it will strike ‘terrorists’ there who attack civilians
Russia will continue to strike back at terrorists in Syria’s Idlib who attack civilians and Russian troops, the Kremlin’s spokesperson said in response to US President Donald Trump’s call to stop operations there.

There is a “high concentration of terrorists and militants” in the Idlib province, which carry out attacks against unarmed people and Russian military personnel, Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.

He was responding to Donald Trump who earlier accused Russian and Syrian forces of “indiscriminately killing many innocent civilians” and called on them to stop operations in the area.

Dmitry Peskov stressed that it is “unacceptable” not to retaliate against the shelling coming from Idlib, and Russia will continue to “neutralize the [militants’] firing positions” there. Just two weeks ago, Moscow reported that terrorists from Idlib fired more than a dozen missiles at Russia’s Khmeimim airbase, all of which were intercepted mid-air.

Idlib and its surroundings in northwestern Syria is the last remaining large pocket of resistance against the Syrian government. Various jihadist groups hold ground there, with the most powerful being the Al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, formerly known as Al-Nusra Front).

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The territory, controlled by the militants, was significantly reduced last year following a successful Syrian army offensive, backed by Russian airstrikes. In September, Russia and Turkey agreed to set up a buffer zone in Idlib to avoid civilian casualties. The nations then launched joint patrols along the buffer zone’s borders.

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