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Russian Defense Minister Says Syrian Civil War ‘Practically’ Over

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday that the civil war in Syria is all but over.

The minister said the delineation of moderate Syrian opposition groups and the creation of de-escalation zones had “practically ended” the conflict.

Speaking at a meeting with his Lebanese counterpart Yaacoub Sarraf, Mr. Shoigu said the movement of terrorists from one country to another cannot continue indefinitely.

“I would like our Western partners to understand this and, finally, to separate the moderate opposition from terrorists and stop rendering assistance across the board,” he stated.

Syria has been engulfed in the civil war for more than six years, with opposition groups fighting against the regime of President Bashar Assad. Russia and Turkey are the guarantors of the nationwide ceasefire in Syria that was worked out in December.

On Monday, members of the Syrian opposition met with Russian and Egyptian representatives in Saudi Arabia for talks on establishing a united front in negotiations. The participants, who are plagued with divisions, also discussed Assad’s role in the settlement of the crisis.

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