DAMASCUS, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Syria's Foreign Ministry said Thursday that defeating the terror-designated groups in the northwestern province of Idlib is an "inevitable duty," according to the state news agency SANA.
In a statement, the ministry said that defeating the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and the Islamic State (IS) as well as other likeminded groups is a basic responsibility of the Syrian state and its allies.
It said counter-terrorism by the Syrian state is being carried out in the framework of the "practical and precise" implementation of the resolutions of the UN Security Council regarding the war on terror.
The remarks come as the Syrian army is preparing to launch a wide-scale offensive on the last rebel stronghold in Idlib amid warnings of the U.S. and its allies.
It also comes in response to the statement issued by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the situation in Syria.
Guterres on Wednesday expressed deep concern that a full-scale military assault in Idlib risks a humanitarian catastrophe.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said "the secretary-general once again reaffirms that any use of chemical weapons is totally unacceptable."
The remarks about the use of chemical weapons have raised the ire of the Syrian government, as such allegations were brought to the table by the United States, France and Britain.
The three powers recently warned the Syrian government against using chemical weapons in Idlib, saying they have information that the Syrian army was planning such an attack.
The Syrian government and its allies have slammed such allegations, saying the United States and its allies of the rebels on the ground are plotting to justify a foreign strike on Syria akin to what happened in April.
"Syria reaffirms that the terrorist organizations are the ones who used chemical weapons against civilians in Syria, supported and covered by western media," the ministry said in its statement Thursday.
"Syria stresses once again that the use of chemical weapons in the country has always been done for justifying the western countries' aggressions on Syria every time these states feel that their schemes had failed," the statement added.