Current Situation in Syria's Idlib Rapidly Deteriorating: Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday that "the current situation around Idlib is of serious concern. The situation in this de-escalation zone is rapidly deteriorating. The territory has actually been taken under the full control of militants from the al-Nusra alliance Hayat Tahrir al-Sham". She added that the militants' provocations posed serious danger to civilians and Syrian troops in the area, as well as to the Russian Hmeymim air base, Sputnik reported.

Earlier in the day, the Russian Defence Ministry's Reconciliation Centre for Syria reported that militants of the Al-Nusra Front terror organisation had attacked Syrian army positions in the Idlib de-escalation zone, near the settlements of Abu-Duhur and Abu-Sharjah.

Moscow addressed Ankara, informing the Turkish side about the situation in Idlib, where settlements and Syrian troops are being attacked by militants.

 Russian, Iraqi Top Diplomats to Discuss Syria in Moscow on January 30

Zakharova also said that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet with Iraqi counterpart Mohamed Ali Alhakim in Moscow on January 30 to discuss the situation in Syria and in the region.

 "On January 29-31, Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim will be on a working visit to Moscow, this will be his first trip to Russia as head of the Foreign Ministry," she said. "At the talks scheduled for January 30, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Iraqi counterpart will discuss key issues on the global and regional agenda with an emphasis on the situation around Syria and Iran," she said, according to Itar Tass.

 The diplomat said specific attention will be paid to issues of pooling efforts to fight international and regional terrorism and religious extremism. The ministers will also look into practical tasks within the context of the development of bilateral relations, given the upcoming 8th session of the intergovernmental Russian-Iraqi commission for trade, economic and scientific-technical cooperation due in Baghdad in spring. The foreign minister of Iraq is co-chairman of the commission.

"We note with appreciation that a bilateral political dialogue is regular and constructive, it is characterized by a high level of trust, closeness or identity of stances on key international and Middle East issues," the diplomat added.