US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on Tuesday that Washington supposedly shares Moscow’s concerns over the presence of terrorists in Syria’s jihadist-held Idlib province and is ready to work on solving this issue.
Pompeo did acknowledge that Russia’s statement that terrorists are based in Idlib is true.
“That is a true statement. We share their concern about terrorism emanating from northern, northwest Syria. We absolutely agree with them [Russia] there are terrorists in those locations and they need to be taken care of such that they don’t export terror around the world,” he said.
“We’re happy to work on the terrorism issue in this place,” Pompeo stressed.
Pompeo noted that he has seen “the reports of the Russian bombing and the Syrian bombing,” which was allegedly carried out in Idlib. He discussed the situation around Idlib with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu. “We are hoping that this can be resolved diplomatically.”
“It is not the way to do that to put the lives of all these innocent civilians at risk and create a humanitarian crisis,” he noted. “We’re always concerned they may use chemical weapons in the process of trying to obtain their military objective.”
The Russian defense ministry earlier warned about a provocation with the hoax use of chemical weapons against civilians that was being staged by militants in the Idlib Governorate under control of the British special services. This provocation is geared to be yet another pretext for the United States, the United Kingdom and France to carry out an airstrike on government and economic facilities in Syria, TASS reported.
On August 30, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said after talks with Lavrov that Syria would push ahead with its efforts for retaking Idlib regardless of whether Washington and its allies might deliver strikes against it under the pretext Damascus had used chemical weapons, the TASS report continued.