He said the Russians reached the deal without first negotiating it with the Syrian government and indicated Shoigu`s comments that Moscow would later discuss the deal with the Syrian government. In early 2018, after the defeat of IS in eastern Syria, the Syrian government and its allies intensified their attacks on rebels in the southwest. After the Beit Jinn offensive in January, the Eastern Qalamoun offensive (April 2018), rebel fighters who refused to “reconcile” with the government were evacuated to Idlib – about 1500 from Qalamoun and 300 from Beit Jinn to Idlib and Daraa in December and more in March.  At the same time, rebel and HTS fighters went into the long campaign in Rif Dimashq governorate, and the estimated 20,000 rebels were transported to Idlib, Afrin, and Al-Bab. “Syrian army prepares gradual attack on Idlib – Source,” Reuters, August 29, 2018. European diplomats told Damascus that the offensive would eventually encompass all of Idlib. Crisis Group interviews, Beirut, August 2018.See footnote “A most pessimistic scenario in Idlib will overload capabilities and has the potential to create a humanitarian emergency on a scale not yet seen by this crisis,” John Ging, a senior UN official, told the UN Security Council on August 28. [fn]”The UN Security Council insisted that it act against the “most pessimistic scenario” of Idlib, UN News, August 28, 2018. Jan Egeland, senior adviser to the UN special envoy for Syria, warned that a battle for Idlib would be a “bloodbath”. “Syria: UN warns of `carnage` in Idlib, BBC World Service, 9. Ignore the footnote Instead of a head-on confrontation with the jihadists in Idlib, Turkey has come out in favor of political engagement and economic involvement to increase intra-Casteist divisions and separate more pragmatic Syrians from intransigent transnational jihadists. Turkey has also insisted that the group of jihadists, who must be isolated and eliminated, be limited, and claims that a small, more manageable group of committed jihadists is the real problem and not necessarily HTS in its entirety.