Moscow and Washington have no plans to cooperate in Syria’s Idlib Governorate, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters at a news conference in Vienna on Friday following OSCE Ministerial Council meeting.
“The situation in Idlib continues to be complex, and we are working, above all, with our Turkish, Iranian (Russia, Turkey and Iran are the guarantor nations of Syria’s ceasefire) and Syrian counterparts to launch the de-escalation zone in that part of the Syrian Arab Republic as effectively as possible. There are no plans with the United States on this specific region of Syria. I believe that’s totally counterproductive,” he said.
In May, the Syrian ceasefire guarantor nations, Russia, Iran and Turkey, signed a memorandum in Astana on setting up four de-escalation zones in Syria. In mid-September, they announced that all zones were functioning. Three of them operate in Eastern Ghouta (a Damascus suburb), the Daraa province and the area around the city of Homs. The fourth one embraces the province of Idlib and parts of the neighboring Aleppo, Latakia and Hama provinces.
The remaining IS (Islamic State, a terror organization, outlawed in Russia) flashpoints in Syria do not pose a serious threat and will be suppressed, according to Lavrov.
“As for Syria and the joint fight against ISIS, ISIS has been completely defeated, in fact. The president gave corresponding assessments. The remaining flashpoints do not pose a serious threat and will be quashed,” the minister said.
On December 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin reported wipeout of IS on both Euphrates River banks in Syria. He noted that isolated flashpoints may emerge, but battle operations to defeat terrorists on this territory have been generally completed.