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    Russian-Syrian Warplanes Hit Idlib

         Russian Warplanes and the Syrian Air Force targeted and hit positions of terrorist in Idlib 
    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces are getting ready to solve the problem of "terrorism" in Idlib, Russia has said, hours after activists reported air raids hitting the village of Jisr al-Shughour on the western edge of the Idlib province, the last rebel stronghold. Calling Idlib a "pocket of terrorism", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday the presence of rebel groups there undermines the possibility of a political settlement to Syria's seven-year war. "We know that Syria's armed forces are preparing to resolve this problem," he said, without commenting on a time frame for the plan. 

    "Everyone here is wondering if this is the start of the Syrian government offensive on Idlib." one person reported. In Moscow, Peskov could not comment if Russian fighter jets were involved in the raids on Idlib. The Russian defence ministry did not immediately comment. Assad has sworn to recapture "every inch" of Syria and has made big gains against rebels since Russia joined his war effort three years ago. Idlib is the last major bastion of the rebel groups who have been trying to oust Assad since the start of the war in 2011. Syrian forces are amassing around the province of Idlib, presumably in preparation for the assault. US President Donald Trump has reacted that he termed "recklessly" attacking Idlib province. Assad allies Russia and Iran, however, have insisted that rebel groups in Idlib must be defeated and are expected to back government forces.

     Moscow has been carrying out air raids in Syria since September 2015, using aircraft based at the Hmeimim base in Latakia province. Meanwhile, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, said his government is making efforts to remove rebel fighters from Idlib with the least human cost. "The situation in Idlib is sensitive," Zarif told Iranian state TV on Tuesday. "Our efforts are for ... the exit of terrorists from Idlib to be carried out with the least human cost." Russian, Turkish and Iranian leaders are due to meet on September 7 in Iran and are expected to discuss the situation in northwestern Syria.

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