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Ali Haidar: Clashes to Come to Idlib

FILE PHOTO: Syria's Minister of National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar speaks during an interview with Reuters at his office in Damascus, Syria February 10, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki/File Photo

Yesterday, Ali Haidar, Syria’s Minister of National Reconciliation, said that, after the liberation of Aleppo, the next target of the government forces is Idlib.

In his interview to Reuters, the minister claimed that the state could not allow Idlib to remain in insurgent hands indefinitely. Unless there was an international deal that addressed the situation, “then the other option is to go to an open battle with them”, he added.

According to Haidar, some 10,000 fighters have arrived to Idlib from areas other than Aleppo, and he expects about as many more in the next six months if the reconciliations in the rural Damascus areas, Deraa and Quneitra are completed.

To be noticed is that Ali Haidar accused Saudi Arabia along with Qatar, Turkey and the United States of backing the insurgency against Assad. “In the Damascus area the problem remains specifically Douma, because everyone knows that there is an armed group in Douma linked with Saudi Arabia”, Haidar said.

Besides, the minister stressed that Saudi Arabia and Qatar kept trying to obstruct the meeting in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana while Turkey, on the other hand, was “searching for an exit far removed from its previous Saudi and Qatari allies”.

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