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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced that the Syrian army and its allies will make their utmost efforts to reduce harms to civilians during the imminent military operations against the terrorist groups in Idlib.

"Given the fact that we will have the summit of leaders of Astana talks (in Tehran) on Friday and the conditions in Idlib are sensitive, we are trying to have the situation in Idlib and expulsion of terrorists from Idlib done with the least humanitarian costs. We had talks in Turkey to this end and we also held talks in Syria with the high-ranking Syrian officials," Zarif told reporters.

"God willing, we will have talks with the three members of the Astana process until Friday to prevent any harm to the Syrian people and pave the ground for the process to purge extremists and get the results," he added.

A leading Syrian newspaper reported on Monday that the massive military operations against the terrorist groups in Idlib would start after the upcoming summit among the Iranian, Turkish and Russian leaders in Tehran, noting that Ankara had agreed with gradual termination of militants' occupation of Idlib.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted special sources privy to the Russian-Turkish negotiations as saying that talks have progressed a lot and Turkey has agreed with efforts to gradually return Idlib to the Syrian government either through political efforts or military operations.

They added that the results of such talks which have not yet ended will be raised in the Friday meeting among the Iranian, Russian and Turkish presidents in Tehran, noting that the date of the Idlib attack will be decided in the Tehran summit.

According to the Syrian newspaper, the army's military operations will likely kick off immediately after the Tehran summit.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem stated on Sunday that the recent US threats to strike Syria would not stop the Damascus government from Idlib operation.

"Anything that is actively promoted by the US will not affect the determination of the Syrian people and Syrian army's plans to clear Idlib and finally put an end to terrorism in Syria," Muallem said in an interview.

According to him, the US accusations about alleged plans regarding chemical attacks have become questionable in the eyes of public opinion and are just an excuse for a possible attack on Syria.

"We, the people and leadership of Syria, would like to end the conflict today, but the intervention of Western countries headed by the US makes it difficult," Muallem added.


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