Closing of Syria-Turkey smuggling route is key to cease-fire, Lavrov says

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that the stopping of smuggling between Turkey and Syria is the key condition for a cease-fire in Syria, adding that he does not see a reason for stopping "the operation against terror" that Russia is carrying out. The comments followed his statement the previous day, covered in DEBKAfile's exclusive report, that Persian Gulf states should support Moscow's plan for Syria because it will result in the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad, a goal they have spent billions of dollars trying to achieve through aid to rebel groups.  

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