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October 15, 2018
The Kabul Times
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Syria urges militants in Idlib to surrender as war ‘nears end’

The Syrian government is calling on what is left of Daesh and other terrorist groups in the country to surrender as the war against foreign-backed militancy in the country is “nearing an end.”
Syrian armed forces carried out shelling attacks against terrorist positions in the Idlib Province on Thursday before dropping leaflets that warned them to lay down arms and accept the government’s rule.
“The war is nearing an end… We are calling on you to join the local reconciliations, as many of our people in Syria did,” read the leaflets, which were stamped with the military’s seal.
“Your cooperation with the Syrian Arab Army will release you from the rule of militants and terrorists, and will preserve you and your families’ lives,” declared the leaflets.
After purging terrorists from most parts of the country and achieving several game-changing victories, the government of President Bashar al-Assad has been trying to negotiate evacuation deals with terrorists to save civilian lives.
The agreements grant amnesty to anti-Assad militants who are willing to live under state rule again, provided private lawsuits are not filed against them.
Damascus has been keen on scoring a similar deal with Idlib, which sits on the border with Turkey and is one of the last major militant strongholds in Syria. A UN official says Iran, Russia and Turkey have assured that they would do their utmost to avoid a battle for the recapture of Idlib in northwestern Syria.
Assad announced last month that government forces had turned their focus to Idlib, noting that the liberation of the northwestern province was one of the military’s priorities.
Iran, Russia and Turkey, the guarantors of a countrywide ceasefire in Syria, have ensured the United Nations that they will try their utmost to prevent a battle for recapturing the city, which is home to over 2.5 million people. UN humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland, however, said that the world body was making preparations for a battle and would ask Turkey to keep its borders open to allow civilians to flee if the need arose. Speaking to International Syria Support Group’s Humanitarian Access Task Force in Geneva on Thursday, Egeland echoed the Syrian government’s view that the anti-terror battle in Syria was in its final stage. “We are seeing the beginning of the end to the Syrian war,” Egeland told the activist group, calling on Western governments and Arab regimes in the Persian Gulf region to use their influence on militant groups and urge them to stop violence against civilians.

AP

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