Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday described militants in Syria's Idlib province as a "festering abscess" that needed to be liquidated.
Speaking after talks with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir in Moscow, Lavrov said militants were also using civilians as a human shield.
"This is the last hotbed of terrorists who are trying to speculate on the region's status as a de-escalation zone, who are trying to hold the civilian population hostage as human shields and bend to their will those armed groups ready to engage in dialogue with the government," Lavrov said.
"So from all points of view, this festering abscess needs to be liquidated," he said.
As for Jubeir, he said discussions with Lavrov covered Syria and the importance of implementing United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 and reaching a political solution that would maintain the country’s territorial integrity, withdrawal of foreign militias and ensuring the rights of the people.
He said Saudi Arabia believed the Iran nuclear deal with world powers was weak, “particularly with regard to the time period that prevents Iran from enriching uranium.”
Jubeir also said that he supported more sanctions being imposed on Iran.
Addressing the conflict in Yemen, the Saudi minister stressed that the political solution there should be based on the three references - the Gulf initiative, national dialogue outcomes and Security Council Resolution 2216.