Lavrov says transfer of extremists from Idlib unacceptable

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that transferring extremist terrorists in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib was unacceptable and those terrorists should either be eliminated or prosecuted, BBC Turkish reported

Lavrov talked about the implementation of a recent Turkish-Russian deal on Idlib, during his New York visit to attend the UN General Assembly meeting. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sept. 17 announced an agreement to create a demilitarised buffer zone in Idlib to be patrolled by Turkish and Russian soldiers. 

The deal between Turkey and Russia was effectively postponed a military attack by the Syrian government, which is determined to seize the control of the last rebel stronghold in the country.

The deal gives Russia the responsibility of taking measures to avoid an attack of the Syrian government on Idlib, while Turkey is given the task of removing radical rebel groups from the demilitarised zone to be established.

“There are rumours that they [extremist fighters in Idlib] could be transferred to other hot spots like Afghanistan,” Lavrov said. “This is unacceptable. They should either be eliminated or prosecuted.”

Lavrov also said that the implementation of the deal on Idlib would not be an easy job for Turkey, adding that the United States previously promised to step in to facilitate the separation of moderate and extremist groups, but have failed to keep its promises.