Russia Targets Only Terrorist Groups in Syria: Moscow

Russia Targets Only Terrorist Groups in Syria: Moscow
Fri Feb 26, 2016 16:41:06

The Kremlin has dismissed reports that its jets targeted strongholds of all militants in Syria ahead of a ceasefire, saying Moscow only bombed “terrorist organizations” in the Arab country.

“The Russian air force is certainly continuing its operation in Syria” against “terrorist organizations” as agreed in the cessation of hostilities plan, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

His remarks came after Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, claimed that Russian jets carried out “more intense than usual” airstrikes and targeted militant strongholds in Damascus, Homs and Aleppo.

Peskov denied the report and said Russia only targeted Daesh (ISIS) Takfiri militants, al-Nusra Front and other Takfiri groups that were chosen as legitimate targets by the UN Security Council.

He also noted that Moscow would continue attacking these targets after the ceasefire came into effect.

“This is one of the conditions of an initiative agreed by the presidents of Russia and the United States,” he added.

On Monday, the United States and Russia said the truce has been planned to take effect in the Arab country on February 27 midnight Damascus time. The Syrian government has accepted the terms on the condition that military efforts against Daesh and al-Nusra Front continue.

The Saudi-backed Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) also announced that it would temporarily adhere to the truce.

Members of the Syria Support Group, a 17-nation grouping comprising Moscow and Washington among others, are to meet in Geneva later on Friday to work out further details of the ceasefire agreement.

The UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura will afterwards announce possible plans for the resumption of UN-backed peace talks for the resolution of the country’s five-year-long crisis, Press TV reported.

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