Speech of the Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoy before media representatives

 

 

The Russian Federation, in accordance with the commitments it has undertaken, continues the work aimed at maintenance of ceasefire in the Syrian Arab Republic.

Just since the beginning of this August, 44 towns have signed ceasefire agreements. Today there are 371 such inhabities localities.

Moreover, there are 69 ceasefire application forms, which have been signed with leaders of armed groupings of the “moderate opposition” and sent to the Russian Centre for reconciliation of the opposing sides.

Despite the efforts taken to maintain the ceasefire, the situation in Aleppo remains complicated.

Jabhat al-Nusra militants, which now call themselves Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, as well as their allied groupings of the so-called moderate opposition keep attaking governement troops both to the north and to the south of Aleppo in order to deliver to the city weapons and munitions including the explosives which are used for terrorist attacks against civilians and the governement troops.

The most difficult situation is observed on the south-west outskirts of Aleppo where terrorists have created in the course of the last week a grouping (7 thousand militants strong) with tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery and automobile vehicles with mounted weaponry on them.

The grouping is being reinforced with the reserves of the terrorists. The militants draw up additional forces from the controlled territories in the Idlib, Homs and Hama provinces.

On the night of August 6-7, after tough combat actions, terrorists managed to drive a wedge into the defences of the Syrian army in the south-west of Aleppo and to take under control the territory of military schools situated there. By the start of the offensive, massive terrorist attacks had been carried out by suicide bombers who used IFVs and armoured vehicles fitted with explosives.

Those actions of militants did not have a significant effect to the situation. The district, which is under their control, is under constant fire of the governement troops and militia detachments. That completely excludes the possibility of delivering armements and munitions to the terrorists located in the eastern part of Aleppo.

At the present time, the governement troops are taking the necessary measures aimed at taking under full control the south-west approaches to Aleppo.

The main goal of efforts of the governement troops supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces is to deprive terrorists from drawing up reserves to the south-west outskirts of Aleppo.

Strikes are carried out against concentrations of militants, armoured hardware, artillery positions and columns with weapons and munitions.

Terrorists suffer heavy losses.

In the course of the last four days, over 1000 militants have been killed and about 2000 – injured in the south-west of Aleppo. 7 tanks, 8 IFVs, 29 artillery weapons and mortars, 85 automobile vehicles with large-caliber weaponry were destroyed.

Since the morning of August 9, the government troops have passed to active offinsive actions after regrouping, pushing militants from the city. Now they are exploiting success.

It is to be stressed that terorists have been shelling for a long time residential quarters from fire positions located outside the city. That is why the situation becomes safe while the militants are being pushed away from Aleppo.

The humanitarian operation carried out jointly with the Syrian authorities for the civilian population of the city of Aleppo is continued.

By this day, the Russian Centre for reconciliation of the opposing sides has delivered over 50 tons of food products, essencials and medicaments as well as 93 tons of bottled water.

All the seven humanitarian corridors arranged to allow the civilians and the militants, who have decided to lay down arms, to quit the city are working 24 hours a day. There are ambulances, camps with hot food and drinking water near the corridors.

The additional humanitarian corridor near the route Kastello for militants with weapons, who decided to quit the city, continues functioning.

It is to be stressed that several armed detachements, which had realized the hopelessness of further combat actions, have already left the eastern part of the city with their armament through that corridor.

The administration of the city takes any possible measures to improve the humanitarian situation.

On August 8, road to the northern suburbs of the Aleppo city through the Kastello trade centre has been constructed.

Safety of the traffic and 24 hours nonstop delivery of food products, water, petrol, medicaments, and other goods of first necessity to the western and eastern parts of the city has been provided.

Currently, there have been received application forms from 47 different organizations at the special section of the Russian Defence Ministry official website and through the hotline of the National Centre for State Defence Control for providing humanitarian aid to the population of Aleppo.

The People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Serbia voiced support for the initiative of Russia to organize humanitarian operation in Aleppo.

Near Handrat, an assembling point for the humanitarian aid columns has been arranged.

This has been done to provide an opportunity for all interested organizations to send humanitarian aid to the population of Aleppo.

Starting from tomorrow, at 10.00 – 13.00 (local time), humanitarian “gaps” will be provided for guaranteeing complete safety for humanitarian columns moving to Aleppo. All combat actions, aviation and artillery strikes will be stopped.

Taking into account all conditions, the Russian party in cooperation with the Syrian government will provide safe delivery of humanitarian aid to citizens of Aleppo by the interested organizations.

The Russian defence department is ready for a constructive dialogue with all parties interested in settling the Syrian conflict.

The Russian party supports suggestions of the UN for establishing joint control over delivery of the humanitarian aid along the Kastello road.

The Russian military experts continue developing the issue with the UN and American colleagues.

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