Russian MoD: US Fails to Fulfill Obligations Amid Syria Rebels’ Truce Violations

 

 Syrian rebels attend a training session in Maaret Ikhwan, near Idlib, Syria in 2012.

   The Russian General Staff said that the United States fails to fulfill obligations on Syria, adding that Washington will be responsible for the breakdown of the ceasefire if the situation does not change.

The US did not respond to Russia’s appeal containing data on the violations of the Syrian truce by US-controlled armed groups, the chief of the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria, Lt. Gen. Vladimir Savchenko, said Saturday.

“The United States didn’t reply to any of our appeals containing information on ceasefire violations by US-controlled armed groups. Moreover, the US side declines telephone conversations, including those planned in advance, as it happened yesterday,” Savchenko said during a videoconference.

“This indicates that the United States does not control the situation in Syria and is not ready to take steps to force US-controlled militants to implement ceasefire.”

   During a video link-up, Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir, the first deputy chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, said the number of ceasefire violations by Syrian rebel groups had been steadily on the rise since the truce came into force last Monday.

   “Five days into the truce, we can say that only the Russian and Syrian sides have fulfilled their commitments. The United States and the so-called moderate groups under their control have not fulfilled a single obligation.”

   “Russia has been doing everything in its power to stop the government troops from responding to the attacks in kind. If the US side does not take steps to fulfill its obligations under the September 9 agreement, it will be fully responsible for the breakdown of the cessation of hostilities regime in Syria,” he continued.

   Lt. Gen. Poznikhir stressed that the key point in the US-Russia deal was that the United States separates “moderate” opposition groups from Daesh and al-Nusra Front terrorists.

Syrian opposition forces violated the nationwide truce 55 times within the past 24 hours, Poznikhir said at a videoconference.

   “The number of ceasefire violations by opposition groups has been rising steadily.” “There were 55 episodes of shelling from their [Syrian rebels’] side within the past 24 hours.”

   Of those 55 violations, 27 were detected in the Aleppo province, 11 in the Damascus province, seven in Hama, six in the mountainous Latakia region, two in Homs, and one each in Daraa and Quneitra. Both government positions and civilian targets had been attacked, he stressed.

   The military official said the US-Russia deal for a Syrian ceasefire had been violated a total of 199 times in the past five days since the truce came into effect late Monday.

   “The situation in Syria is deteriorating, mostly in Aleppo and Hama where opposition groups are using the cessation of hostilities regime to regroup, restock ammunition, weapons and preparing to launch an offensive to grab new territories,” Lt. Gen. Poznikhir said.

   “Continued shelling, illegal armed groups’ failure to comply with the ceasefire regime, the absence of a checkpoint in the militant-controlled eastern part of the Castello Road do not allow to guarantee security of humanitarian access to Aleppo,” he continued.

   Militants have carried out 26 mortar and rocket attacks on residential areas and Syrian army positions in the city of Aleppo over the past 24 hours, a representative of the Hmeymim-based Russian reconciliation center for Syria said Saturday.

   “We are in the Ashrafia neighborhood of Aleppo, where residential areas were shelled with mortars and improvised rocket launchers. The situation remains difficult in the Aleppo province and in the city itself. Over the past 24 hours, we recorded 26 instances of residential area and government position shelling by the militants,” Col. Sergei Kopytsin said during a video conference outlining the results of the first five days of the new September 12 Syrian ceasefire.

   The attacks involved mortars as well as multiple launch rocket systems and anti-tank guided missiles and targeted four districts, a gas plant and farms to the south of the city, he added.

   “The largest number of casualties was recorded in the Sheikh-Ali-Kobtani district, where three people died and 12 were injured,” the representative added.

   Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir said that an agreement had been reached on allowing a humanitarian convoy access the besieged Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh.

   “The Syrian government guarantees the humanitarian convoy’s passage through the territory under its control, but the issue of its passage through areas controlled by moderate opposition, which is influenced only by the United States, remains. Measures have still not been taken to separate moderate opposition controlled by the United States fromal-Nusra Front,” he added.

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