Over 40 Militants Killed in Airstrikes in Syria’s Aleppo Province: Report
Over 40 Takfiri terrorists from Fateh al-Sham Front have reportedly been killed in airstrikes on their camp in Aleppo Province in northwestern Syria.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it cannot immediately specify who carried out the Thursday airstrikes in the western part of the province.
“Warplanes, which may have been Russian or coalition aircraft, struck a Fateh al-Sham camp in Jabal al-Sheikh Suleiman,” the Britain-based group said.
The Takfiri group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, along with Daesh (ISIS / ISIL), is not a party to a countrywide ceasefire deal reached between Damascus and militant groups on December 30, 2016.
Mass Grave Found in Aleppo
Meanwhile, the Syrian army forces have discovered a mass grave at a school in the eastern sector of Aleppo City, which was liberated from the militants late last year.
According to a letter sent by the Syrian army to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the victims had been executed by the Takfiri Fajr al-Islam militant group.
The letter said certain countries consider the terrorist group as moderate fighters and equip them with arms and technical support.
Twenty of the victims have been identified and investigation is underway to identify another 37 victims, the letter added.
In a Friday interview with Iran’s Fars News Agency, Aleppo Governor Hussein Diab said clean-up and reconstruction operation sin Aleppo have made signification progress.
He said the reconstruction process will include the entire Aleppo province with a primary focus on urban services.
Tractors start to clean up areas formerly held by Takfiri terrorists in the northern city of Aleppo on December 27, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
The operations include removing the debris, cleaning up the streets, providing security for vehicles and reopening schools after four years, Diab said.
He said 20 schools have been reopened for 5,000 students and three health centers have started providing medical services to the citizens.
Following the liberation of Aleppo in late 2016, the Syrian government adopted a plan of action meant to restore public services and security to the northwestern city.
The plan includes a range of measures such as the opening of Aleppo roads, providing water, electricity and fuel to citizens as well as assessing conditions for repair and reconstruction activities there.
Lavrov ‘Optimistic’ on Syria Peace Process
On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed optimism over the prospect of peace process on Syria, saying the meeting in the Kazakh capital Astana on January 23 is as an important step toward establishing a framework for talks taking place in Geneva.
“As you know an inter-Syrian meeting between the Syrian government delegation and armed opposition will take place next week in Astana. We view this meeting as an important input into work on parameters of integral political reconciliation in the Syrian Arab Republic which will continue at larger events in Geneva in the beginning of February,” he added.
Russia is currently in talks with Iranian officials on preparations for the upcoming Syria peace talks, among them the possible US presence in the discussions.
Iran has voiced strong opposition to the US participation in the upcoming Astana talks, citing Washington’s dedication to the ouster of the Syrian government and its longtime support for the Takfiri terror groups operating in the Arab state.
Representatives from the Syrian government and foreign-sponsored opposition groups are expected to take part in the Astana negotiations.
The conflict resolution talks on Syria are brokered by Moscow, Ankara and Tehran. The three sides have in the past months been engaged in a diplomatic process, which helped establish a ceasefire in Syria late last year and bring back Damascus and opposition groups to the negotiating table.