Russia FM: Moscow Needs Assurances to Lengthen Syria’s Aleppo Ceasefire

Russia FM: Moscow Needs Assurances to Lengthen Syria’s Aleppo Ceasefire
Mon Aug 15, 2016 18:28:09

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says his country could lengthen a three-hour daily humanitarian ceasefire around the Syrian city of Aleppo if assurances are made that terrorists will not use it to move into the city.

Lavrov said Monday that earlier short-term truces helped militants replenish weapons and added that Russia fears militants are using any ceasefire to send in more of their comrades into Aleppo. He said that in order for the Aleppo ceasefire to be lengthened “it was necessary to solve issues on the fight with terrorists.”

The Russian top diplomat, who was speaking to the media following a meeting with visiting German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, also admitted that the short-term three-hour daily halt in the fighting is not sufficient to let more humanitarian aid into Aleppo.

"“The main issue is not that there’s anyone unwilling to alleviate the humanitarian situation, but it is of utmost importance that terrorists would not be getting reinforced with militants, guns and munition supplies under the humanitarian aid disguise,” Lavrov said."

Russia has been assisting Syria in its fights against militants since late September 2015 upon a request by the Damascus government. Moscow says the sorties have inflicted huge losses on militants in east and northeast of Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday that six Russian bombers conducted “concentrated” air raids against Daesh targets near the eastern city of Dayr al-Zawr, inflicting heavy damage on the Takfiri terrorist group.

Last month, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hailed the Russian air campaign in support of the Syrian army, saying it has helped Syrian soldiers advance against the Takfiri elements operating in the Arab country.

According to an estimate by United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, over 400,000 people have been killed in the Syrian war since it broke out in March 2011.

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