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Plans for Russian-Turkish Offensive Against Nusra in Syria’s Idlib

Plans for Russian-Turkish Offensive Against Nusra in Syria’s Idlib

Saturday, 2 February, 2019 - 07:45
A Syrian boy stands in the mud near makeshift shelters following heavy rain, at a camp for displaced people in the village of Atme, in Idlib. AFP file photo
Moscow - London - Raed Jabr and Asharq Al-Awsat
A Turkish military delegation was in Moscow on Saturday to discuss joint measures in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, amid signs that the two countries would launch a military operation against al-Nusra Front.

Informed Russian sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on Friday that Moscow is working with Turkey to set the stage for a joint offensive in Idlib, which is mainly controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (previously known as al-Nusra Front).

Meanwhile, a Russian source said that Moscow and the Turkish delegation were likely discussing “military and technical details” of such an offensive.

In the battlefield, fighting was less intense on Friday around the last ISIS pockets in the countryside of Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria, amid reports about preparations to secure the exit of more people stranded in the area.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Coalition warplanes flew over the last ISIS positions in the eastern sector of Deir Ezzor, without carrying out any strikes.

It said the remaining commanders and members of the organization are hiding in buildings and taking residents as human shields.

ISIS militants have been besieged by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the US-led Coalition in an area of less than 4 km, adjacent the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.

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