Russia has “full political understanding” with Turkey over the issues surrounding Syria’s Idlib, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Moscow, on Aug. 29, called on the West not to stand in the way of an “anti-terror operation” in Idlib, as speculation grows Damascus is planning a Russian-backed offensive on the rebel-held province. “I hope our Western partners will not give in to (rebel) provocations and will not obstruct an anti-terror operation” in Idlib, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir in Moscow.

Lavrov also said that there is “full political understanding” between Russia and Turkey, who support opposing sides of the Syrian civil war but are currently in intense negotiations to ensure Idlib does not become a breaking point in their alliance. “It is necessary to disassociate the so-called moderate opposition from terrorists and at the same time prepare an operation against them while minimizing risks for the civilian population,” Lavrov said. “This abscess needs to be liquidated.”

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