Russian Navy To Hold Drills Off Syria As Idlib Offensive Looms

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MOSCOW – Russia will begin a major naval exercise in the Mediterranean on Saturday, the Ministry of Defense announced, a move the Kremlin said was justified by a failure to deal with militants in Syria’s Idlib province.

Idlib and areas surrounding it are the last major enclave held by rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a close Russian ally, and a source has told Reuters he is preparing a phased offensive to regain it.

“This hotbed of terrorists (in Idlib) does really not bode anything good if such inaction continues,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

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