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28.07.2016 (12:20)

Russian Defence Minister announced the start of large-scale humanitarian operation aimed at providing assistance to civil population of the Aleppo city

Today, working session devoted to the situation in Syria was held under the leadership of the Russian Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu. 

Opening the session, the Defence Minister stressed: “We are to make a number of decisions concerning stabilization of the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic”.

“The ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groupings have launched offensive within June and July near the Aleppo city. The Russian Aerospace Forces are providing active support to the government troops. Joint operations caused elimination of significant number of insurgents, terrorist training camps, plant producing armament, explosive devices, and combat hardware,” noted Sergei Shoigu.

The head of the defence department reminded that number of inhabited areas and regions (including ones located in the territories controlled by insurgents), which had joined the ceasefire process was increasing under the facilitation of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides.

Within last three days, representatives of another 77 inhabited areas have signed truce agreements.

Currently there are 294 such inhabited areas. Moreover, leaders of armed formations have singed 61 ceasefire application forms.

However, there are negative stats.

Within last two weeks, positions of the Syrian government troops have suffered 8 terrorist attacks performed by 21 suicide bombers and with the use of 3 infantry fighting vehicles and 12 car bombs. These terrorist acts killed more than 500 people and injured approximately 2,000 ones.

“We have been continuously appealing to opposing sides for reconciliation, but every time insurgents broke the “silence regime”, shelled inhabited areas, attacked positions of the government troops. All this caused bad humanitarian situation in the Aleppo city and its suburbs”, stressed the head of the Russian defence department.  

Therefore, in accordance to the decree of the President of the Russian Federation, the Minister of Defence ordered to start large-scale humanitarian operation aimed at providing assistance to civil population of the Aleppo city in cooperation with the Syrian government.

International humanitarian organizations active in Syria are invited to join the operation.

In order to rescue civilians, who are kept by terrorists, and insurgents, who made decision to lay down arms, the Russian Center for reconciliation of opposing sides in cooperation with the Syrian government is to open 3 humanitarian corridors.

Food service and first aid posts will be deployed in these areas. 

“Taking into account that the American partners did not provide us with information about separation of Jabhat al-Nusra and units of the Free Syrian Army, the 4th corridor is to be opened in the north of Aleppo in direction to the Castello Road for safe withdrawal of armed insurgents. It is to be stressed that we take this step exceptionally for providing security to citizens of Aleppo,” explained the Minster of Defence.

General of the Army expressed his hope that the American colleagues would provide the Russian side with location coordinates of units of the Free Syrian Army and information concerning moderate opposition detachments: what armament and hardware they are equipped with, how many tanks, infantry fighting vehicle and artillery guns there are.

The population will get information about routes of leaving from the city along humanitarian corridors in leaflets, SMS, and by loudspeakers.

The head of the defence department ordered to organize airdropping of food, medicaments, and articles of prime necessity for civilians. The special attention is to be paid to delivery of means providing care to children and critically ill persons.

The Minister of Defence appealed to the Syrian leadership for guarantees of amnesty and pardon for those insurgents, who had not lay down weapons and stained their arms with blood yet, in order to prevent useless victims.

“If we do not want repetition of the Iraqi, Libyan, of Afghani scenarios, consequences of which the world had been facing for years, we suggest our partners uniting and concentrating on implementation of agreements reached in Geneva and Moscow last week instead of accusatory speeches,” stated General of the Army Sergei Shoigu.

He also said that in accordance to the order of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, under the personal request of John Kerry, the United States Secretary of State, Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate General Stanislav Gadjimagomedov with a group of experts was going to Geneva in order to develop joint measures aimed at stabilization of situation near Aleppo.

Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov was ordered to organize cooperation with international humanitarian organizations; Acting Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoy was ordered to interact with the Syrian government in the field of opening and providing security to the humanitarian corridors. 

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