A Syrian Rebel fighter looks on as he prepares in anticipation of an attack by the regime on Idlib province and the surrounding countryside, in Kafr Zeta on August 30, 2018. / AFP / Zein Al RIFAI
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Syria's foreign minister said government forces will "go all the way" in the rebel-held northern region of Idlib and that Damascus's main targets were Nusra Front militants. Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, speaking after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, also said Syria would not use chemical weapons in any offensive and did not have such weapons.Government forces have been massing around Idlib – Syria's only remaining rebel-held province – for days and looked poised to launch what could be the last major battle of the civil war that has torn the country apart since 2011 .Anatoly Antonov, Russia's ambassador to the United States, also warned Washington against what he called "groundless and illegal aggression against Syria".U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura told reporters that there was a high concentration of foreign fighters in Idlib, including an estimated 10,000 terrorists, but it would be better to set up humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians than rush into a battle which could turn prove to be a "perfect storm".
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