Syrian Army Preparing Phased Idlib Assault Source

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BEIRUT – Syrian government forces are preparing a phased offensive in the northwestern province of Idlib and surrounding areas, the last big rebel enclave, a source close to Damascus said on Wednesday.

Russia, President Bashar al-Assad’s main backer from outside the region, said on Wednesday that militants there must be liquidated and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described them as “a festering abscess”.

Turkey, which borders Idlib and has a small military presence there, has however warned against such an attack.

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