The UN envoy returns to Damascus and reports of a Russian plan for years of battle in Idlib

The UN envoy returns to Damascus and reports of a Russian plan for years of battle in Idlib

Sep 23 2019

ARK The UN envoy to Syria, Geir Pederson, arrived in Damascus on Sunday as a prelude to relaunching the political process, as the regime bombed areas in Idlib countryside with rockets, the German Press Agency quoted Russian military sources as saying that the Idlib operation against "terrorists" will extend for years.

"I am eagerly awaiting my meeting with Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem," Pederson said, recalling his "fruitful meetings" with Moallem during his last visit to Damascus in July.

The Norwegian diplomat, who took office in January, said that since then "progress" had been made, although the process of forming a constitutional commission had been stalled for months due to disagreements between the regime and the United Nations over the appointment of some of its members, but UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday that The Syrian parties reached an agreement to form a committee to prepare a new constitution.

The committee is supposed to have 150 members, 50 of whom are chosen by the regime and 50 by the opposition, while Pederson chooses the remaining 50. The names have not yet been agreed on the third list, which raises differences between Damascus and the United Nations.

Meanwhile, a military commander in the opposition National Liberation Front in Idlib told Deutsche Presse-Agentur DPA that regime forces and their armed groups have shelled dozens of shells and rockets in the towns of Umm al-Seer, Hassana, Ma'rat Harmah and the brick factory in the southern Idlib countryside, causing extensive destruction of the property of the displaced.

The commander added that the Russian reconnaissance flight has been flying heavily for days in the countryside of Idlib and that the shelling initiated by the regime seems to be a prelude to the battle that the regime and Russia are preparing to take over the Hama-Aleppo road.

In contrast, the German news agency quoted a source close to the regime forces denying the start of operations in Idlib, and claimed that the bombing targeted only "al-Nusra Front."

"Idlib province is under the control of terrorists and there are no moderate forces, there is no simple solution at all. Any large-scale military operation will turn into a humanitarian catastrophe that threatens allies," the German news agency quoted social networking sites of the Russian military base of Hamaimim in Syria as saying. Turkey's anger is a strong ally, and at the same time, it is impossible to allow HTS and Ahrar al-Sham organizations to be a stronghold for them to threaten Russia's interests. "

"Therefore, we must conduct a series of counterterrorism operations over many years without a large-scale attack."

Source: al-Jazeera