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Russians press on with attacks in Syria on Idlib ‘hornets’ nest’

KREMLIN presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov brushed off US President Donald Trump’s warning against carrying out a “reckless attack” against jihadist forces in Syria’s Idlib province yesterday.

Mr Peskov said such warnings do not consider “the dangerous and negative potential” of the jihadist-held enclave and show that the White House does not have a “comprehensive approach” to solving the Syria crisis.

Russia insists that terrorist groups in Idlib target its own facilities in Syria and Mr Peskov described Idlib as a “hornets’ nest of terrorists.”

He was speaking after both Russian and Syrian war planes had launched heavy bombing raids on targets in the south and west of Idlib.

According to the Russian air force, at least 10 Russian jets targeted the Jisr al-Shughour district, including the towns of Al-Shughour, Mahambel, Basnqoul, Zayzooun, Ziyarah, Jadariyah, Kafrdeen, Al-Sahn, Saraseef and a dozen others.

The Syrian air force announced separately that it had carried out several air strikes over the same Jisr al-Shughour district, targeting towns controlled by the jihadist rebels of the al-Qaida-linked Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (Hetesh) and the Ankara-backed Turkestan Islamic Party.

Syrian planes also heavily bombarded the town of Jadariya, which is believed to have a large presence of Hetesh fighters.

UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said yesterday that he was “determined” to hold talks with high-level envoys from Turkey, Iran and Russia on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, despite concerns that an all-out offensive against opposition forces in Idlib may begin before then.

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