TEHRAN, Iran: Syria’s U.N. ambassador says the government is committed to regain Syrian territory and “liberate it from terrorism and foreign occupation,” adding that there is no de-escalation zone in rebel-held Idlib because “armed groups refused to dissociate themselves from terrorist groups.”
Bashar Ja’afari told the U.N. Security Council on Friday that “the situation is as it is now in Idlib because the countries sponsoring terrorism do not want to distinguish between terrorists and armed opposition.”
He said the Syrian government allowed plenty of time to armed groups in Idlib to lay down their arms and become part of the reconciliation process and dissociate themselves from terrorist organizations including the al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee (formerly the Nusra Front).
Ja’afari said “those who facilitated the entry of foreign terrorist fighters into my country, especially the Turkish government, still have a chance to remove them from Idlib province.”
But he warned that “in case the armed terrorist groups refuse to lay down weapons, refuse to leave Syrian territory to go back to where they came from, the Syrian government is prepared.”
Ja’afari said Syria is aware of the humanitarian consequences that might result and “we take all precautions and preparations to protect civilians, to provide safe passage for them to leave, just as we have done in similar situations.”
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