Time is running out for jihadists in Idlib and Russia is growing impatient with their presence in northern Syria, Vladimir Safronkov, Russian representative to the UN said Wednesday.
Safronkov said during Security Council session on Wednesday that militant groups such as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), formerly Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front—remained active in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib despite Turkish assurances that they would be removed.
“The situation in Idlib remains volatile. Militants from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham do not cease to attack the governmental forces. They strike indiscriminately, including against civil infrastructure. Peaceful people die,” Safronkov said, blaming the West-backed Syrian civil rescue group—known as the White Helmets—for plotting “new provocations” via chemical attacks to draw international action against the Syrian government.
“We see what is happening,” he added. “We cannot say for how long this status quo in Idlib can last. It is not viable at all, on the contrary: it is dangerous for Syria and the region.”
Last night, jihadists launched a grad missiles attack targeting the Russian airbase in Latakia where Russian air defense systems managed to shoot down most of the missiles.
Following the attack, Russian air force launched a massive wave of airstrikes targeting Hayat Tahrir al-Sham positions across Idlib province with sources reporting that a ground offensive by the Syrian Army and Russian forces is looming on the horizon.