Russian Federation may ban more USA politicians over sanctions: deputy foreign minister

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The south of Syria, where Assad forces have taken control from the rebel through intense fighting, was also a "de-escalation" zone agreed upon a year ago by the US, Russia and Jordan.

The two ministers, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Hulusi Akar, and Turkey's intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, also met later the same day with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Stressing that more than 3 million civilians live in Idlib, Cavusoglu said: "A military solution there would be a disaster".

"We will both improve bilateral relations between the two countries for [providing] stability and economic development in the region and we will boost our cooperation on regional matters", he said. Assad's army, with Russian air support, has been mustering troops and tanks around Idlib, the last stronghold of Syrian opposition groups now dominated by jihadists. Russia's Lavrov on Friday indicated that Moscow was losing patience with the Idlib militants, whom the Kremlin has accused of targeting government positions as well as Russia's Syria military base from there.

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Reacting to comments by US National Security Adviser John Bolton about Washington´s possible strong reaction in the event of a chemical or biological attack in the Syrian region of Idlib, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said: "We warn the Americans and their allies against taking new reckless steps in Syria".

It's now more focused on removing the Iranian forces that played a key part in Assad's victory.

Noting the Syrian government would neither give up on Idlib nor on the areas under Turkish control in northwestern Syria, the retired general said Turkey should come up with a proposal covering not only Idlib but the whole Syria.

"Establishing a constitutional committee immediately is important for Syria's future". "When the de-escalation zone was created in Idlib, no one proposed using it for terrorists to hide behind the civilian population like a human shield", he said.

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There is growing speculation in the West of an impending Russian-backed government attack on Idlib, one of the so-called "de-escalation" zones that grew out of negotiations between Russia, Turkey and Iran previous year.

United Nations officials estimate that hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict.

Cavusoglu said on Friday.

Cavusoglu noted that Turkey considers "it is very important that those radical groups and terrorists are rendered ineffective", indicating that it is important for Turkey because they are on the other side of its border.

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Based on the Astana deal, Turkey has established a total of 12 observation posts in Idlib to monitor cessation of hostilities, involving some 1,000 Turkish troops.

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