VIDEO + Ex-UK Envoy: Militants Undermining Aleppo Truce

Sat Dec 17, 2016 14:08:24

Syria has suspended evacuations of civilians and militants from eastern Aleppo after terrorists opened fire on a convoy at one of the crossing points in the city.

Alalam - Syria

Earlier on Friday, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced more than 6,400 people, including over 3,000 militants, had been transferred out of Aleppo.

After the liberation of Aleppo, Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged all sides in Syria to work toward paving the way for a nationwide ceasefire in the Arab country.

Sir Peter Ford, former UK ambassador to Syria from Manchester, told Press TV on Friday night that terrorists were trying to undermine a ceasefire agreement in Aleppo.

Syria, he said, will go through with the truce to pave the ground for coping with insurgency throughout the Arab country.

Ford said the militants are not compliant with the terms of the agreement and are obstructing the departure of besieged citizens in the villages of Fua'a and Kafriya.

The trend of implementing the truce agreement is similar to other ceasefires in Syria, where “there are hitches usually caused by the militants but in the end the deals go through,” he noted.

The former ambassador referred to the bigger picture in Aleppo, saying Russia wanted the operation to finish quickly.

The Russians, he said, will be putting some pressure on Syria to allow the deal to go through.

“Syria has often been put under pressure by Russia, contrary to what the Western media always say.

The Syrian armed forces could probably have taken eastern Aleppo two years ago but they held back because of a Russian request,” he added.

Ford further dismissed allegations of war crimes blamed on the Syrian government forces and Russia in Aleppo.

“The claims by the [militants] and their spokespersons about genocide, massacre and holocaust [in eastern Aleppo] are blatant lies and pure propaganda,” which have been disseminated by the Western mainstream media, he said.

Ford said international efforts to reach an immediate peace in Syria will not bear fruit as quickly as possible.

The former ambassador touched on negotiations between Russia and Turkey, which have excluded the United States.

As for America’s stance on developments in Syria, he said, “We’re about to see regime change in Washington."

"At the moment, the United States is a lame duck and there is some hope after January 20 that America will be following a more reasonable line.

"So, we can’t really say what role America will play but certainly there is no hope that the Obama administration in its dying days will play any kind of a positive role,” Ford stated.

According to the former UK ambassador, the Pentagon had opposed any meaningful cooperation with Russia over fighting terrorism in Syria despite "a feeble effort" by the State Department, with Secretary of State John Kerry "stabbed in the back" by the Defense Department.

Pointing to the role of regional players in the crisis in Syria, Ford said while Qatar has been involved in aiding and abetting terrorists, Egypt is waking up and standing against the Saudis' stance on regional issues.

Michael Lane, founder of the American Institute for Foreign Policy from Washington DC, said foreign-backed militants were scuttling ceasefire deals.

“In a situation like this, it is incumbent for the losing side - and the militants are the losing side - to facilitate execution of the deal as smoothly as possible so that they can achieve the evacuation that they’re looking for.”

The analyst ruled out the possibility of a hasty cessation of hostility in Syria, saying he did not think there is any immediate hope on the horizon because both sides must agree with a ceasefire. 

“Although the battle in Aleppo is over, but the militants have not given up their dream," he said, adding he did not see an end to the conflict any time in the near future.

“The fact that the United States has been excluded from any conversations about what the future is going to be" shows the decline of American influence in the region, he added.

According to Lane, under the Obama administration not all the militants were terrorists, adding the world has to wait and see whether President-elect Donald Trump would cooperate on fighting Daesh as he has promised.

“Terrorism has been a problem throughout the entire region, wherever it is found, whoever is supporting it, needs to stop and terrorists need to be cut off,” he said.



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