Russia’s Syria envoy said on Tuesday September 11th that Russia hopes for a peaceful resolution of the situation in Syria’s rebel-held province of Idlib, but believes it is up to Turkey to separate Islamist militants from the moderate opposition.
After talks in Geneva with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, Alexander Lavrentiev said, “Idlib province is …a sort of zone of responsibility of Turkey; it is their responsibility to separate the moderate opposition from the extremists, from Jabhat al-Nusra and other groups, other terrorist groups.”
As reported by Reuters, Lavrentiev said the military would seek to minimise civilian casualties in case the battle went ahead.
He also stated that Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan were working hard to find a solution.
“It is extremely difficult for the Turks to complete their part of job. We are trying to find a solution to this problem but as we see it this is really the only way. They should be separated,” he said.
Lavrentiev also said that it was impossible to imagine the area being left in the hands of what he called terrorist groups, with an enclave under their control, which would represent a threat to the region and the world.