Bashar al-Assad says ´no option´ but to expel rebels from Aleppo

Author

08 October, 2016

His plea comes two weeks into an all-out government assault on opposition parts of Aleppo following the collapse of a short-lived truce negotiated by Russian Federation and the United States.

The offer of amnesty follows two weeks of the heaviest bombardment of the five-and-a-half-year civil war, which has killed hundreds of people trapped inside Aleppo's rebel-held eastern sector.

"The most important thing here is that the outrageous aerial bombardment of eastern Aleppo must stop", added British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft.

Since Russia has launched its air campaign in Syria in support of Assad's forces a year ago, the Russia and the United States militaries have maintained contacts to prevent any mid-air incidents between Russian warplanes and the aircraft from the US-led coalition in the skies over Syria.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the United Nations proposal to remove the Al-Qaeda offshoot from Aleppo a "constructive step" and said it "deserves careful consideration".

Those fighters are regarded as enemies by the United States and its allies as well as by the Syrian government and Russian Federation.

"We are all in favor of fighting terrorism in Syria but the biggest single killer of innocent civilians in Syria is the Syrian regime, the second biggest killer of innocent civilians in Syria is Russian Federation and only the third biggest killer is Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra and other terrorists".

Russian Federation and Syria have used the designated terrorist group's presence in the city as justification for their ferocious bombardment, which De Mistura said had killed 376 people in the last two weeks. He said the militant are in essence holding "hostage" roughly 275,000 people in Aleppo.

Syria's army and allies clashed today in the south of Aleppo with rebels seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad, a military source, rebels and a monitor said, part of a pro-government offensive to retake Syria's once largest city. Conflict monitors said hospitals had been hit and water supplies damaged in the most lethal bombardment in almost six years of war.

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Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj.

Leonid Kalashnikov, a Communist MP, said Moscow must "seriously defend our interests in Syria" in a resolute response to what he and other MPs described as Washington's anti-Russian policies.

"If you did decide to leave in dignity, and with your weapons, to Idlib or anywhere you wanted to go, I personally am ready physically to accompany you", he said.

Earlier in the week, Washington halted bilateral efforts to solve the conflict, in protest against Syrian and Russian bombings on the besieged city of Aleppo.

The Russian military said Tuesday it had deployed the S-300 air defense missile systems to Syria to protect a Russian navy facility in the Syrian port of Tartus and Russian navy ships in the area.

Otherwise, he said, he would "continue the fight with the rebels till they leave Aleppo". Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in comments carried by Russian news agency TASS.

That would be intended as a strong signal to Moscow that it is not immune and continued support for the Assad regime would come at a price.

Konashenkov said Russian forces won't have time to use that communications line if it sees the Syrian regime being targeted.

Yesterday, at least 29 rebels involved in Ankara's operation were killed in a blast claimed by IS at the Atme border crossing between Turkey and Syria, the Observatory said.


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