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World News

Syrian PM Khamis says Idlib will 'soon' be under state control

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis said on Thursday in Damascus that opposition-controlled Idlib province will soon be restored to Syrian state sovereignty, vowing to win any coming war.

“Idlib will soon be restored to the nation,” Khamis said in a speech during the opening ceremony of the 60th edition of the annual Damascus International Fair.

Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, resumed on Tuesday air strikes against insurgents in north western Idlib province, following weeks of bombardment and shelling by pro-Syrian government forces in an apparent prelude to a full-scale offensive against the rebels’ last major enclave.

“Syria has prevailed and will win in any coming war,” Khamis said.

Last week, a source close to Damascus said the government was preparing a phased offensive to recover Idlib province, but Turkey, whose army has a string of observation posts around the edge of the rebel area, has warned against such an assault.

Russian, Turkish and Iranian leaders are due to meet on Sept. 7 in Iran and are expected to discuss the situation in northwestern Syria.

Reporting by Dahlia Nehme; Editing by Toby Chopra

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