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We still have a lot of work in the zone of Idlib: Russian President Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow feels it still has a lot of work to do in the last major bastion of foreign-backed militants and Takfiri terrorists in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib.

“We still have a lot of work in the zone of Idlib, as there is a large number of militants, who flee to other countries, including Libya by the way,” Putin told reporters at the 11th summit of BRICS nations in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia on Thursday.

He added Russia hopes the Geneva peace process for Syria would be successful.

“Yes, many objectives have been reached, but not at all every objective. I really expect that during the political process in Geneva, during work on amendments or a new constitution for Syria, we manage to mitigate the situation, establish good ties between the government and the opposition, and reach decisive general solutions which would appease the whole country and completely regain its territorial integrity,” the Russian leader pointed out.

The remarks on the same day that Syrian government forces managed to liberate the villages of al-Luaibdeh Gharbyia and Tal Khazna in Idlib province.

Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that Syrian army soldiers struck the gatherings and fortifications of militants from the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, with barrages of artillery rounds and rockets, killing and injuring a number of the terrorists.

Several militants fled away towards their strongholds in the countryside of Maarat al-Numan town, located 33 kilometers (20.52 miles) south of Idlib.

last week, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen said the opening round of talks aimed at finding a political solution to the ongoing conflict in Syria had been “better than expected”, with a new round due to be held in Geneva later this month.

Speaking at a news conference at the end of the first round of the Constitutional Committee on November 8, Pedersen said, “I believe it has gone much better than most people would have expected.”

He added that the committee discussed many key issues, including Syria’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and fighting terrorism, without elaborating.

The UN envoy noted that discussions were sometimes “very painful” but said the delegates to the committee from the government, foreign-sponsored opposition and civil society addressed them with professionalism.

“The next round of discussions will start on November 25,” Pedersen added.

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