Syria Readies For Final Offensive As War ‘Nears End’

DAMASCUS — 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. 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.

UN also sees war ending soon

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.

The Syrian conflict, which started in March 2011, has so far killed over 350,000 people, accord­ing to the so-called Syrian Observa­tory for Human Rights.

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