IDLIB, Syria – About 15,000 terrorists from the Al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front remain in the Syrian province of Idlib, Russian President’s special envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentyev’s said on Wednesday.
“In the Idlib area there are still a significant number of terrorists, more than 15,000 Al-Nusra Front. We hope that the armed opposition formations can face the situation in this problematic area and restore order with their own strength,” Lavréntiev said.
At the same time, he emphasized that “it is necessary, of course, that Russia stands ready to provide all possible assistance, including with the participation of units of Syrian government forces.”
Alexandr Lavréntiev also said participants at the 11th international meeting on Syria in Astana noted stabilization in Syria.
“We emphasize that the situation in the territory controlled by the Syrian government in general has stabilized,” he said.
Idlib and adjacent areas of the province remains as the final stronghold of terrorist groups in Syria. Despite once possessing large areas of Syria, the terrorist groups are now holed up in this final region. For now, a ceasefire is in place, however it is not expected to last forever of course, and once military operations begin again, the Syrian Army will clear out this final bastion of jihadism in the country.
This eventual victory will mean that Damascus will only have to deal with the US-backed Kurdish situation. The US-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) currently possess large swathes of northern and eastern Syria and are unwilling to negotiate with Damascus to come to a comprise. This is especially important now as the Turkish military and their jihadist allies are preparing to invade territories held by the SDF.
The SDF is a coalition of different militias, but primarily made up by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), in which Turkey considers a terrorist organization as it is the Syrian branch of the outlawed Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).