Russia starts cutting grouping of forces in Syria


January 06, 12:09 updated at: January 06, 12:42 UTC+3
The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier naval group will be the first to leave the conflict area

The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier

The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier

MOSCOW, January 6. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry has starting cutting the grouping of forces in Syria in accordance with the decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chief of the General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov said on Friday.

The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier naval group will be the first to leave the conflict area, he said.

“In accordance with the decision by Supreme Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin, Russia’s Defense Ministry is starting to downsize the grouping of the armed forces in Syria,” the chief of the General Staff said.

The warships of the Northern Fleet’s aircraft carrier task force led by Russia’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov will be the first to leave the conflict area, he said.

The Admiral Kuznetsov carrier will begin Friday moving from the Mediterranean to Severomorsk in Russia’s northern Murmansk region, Gerasimov said.

“I would like to thank the staff of the aircraft carrier group for the success in implementing its tasks. I order the senior officer of the mission Vice-Admiral Viktor Sokolov to begin relocating the group today and move to the main fleet base of Severomorsk as per the plan approved earlier,” he said.

Commander of Russia’s Group of Forces in Syria Colonel-General Andrei Kartapolov said the aircraft carrier naval group completed its tasks and it is ready for further operations.


Bulletin of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in the Syrian Arab Republic (December 6, 2016)

Reconciliation of the opposing sides

Within last 24 hours, truce agreements have been signed with representatives of 6 inhabited areas of the Latakia (2), Damascus (2), and Homs (2) provinces.

The total number of inhabited areas, the leaders of which had signed reconciliation agreements, has reached 1032.

Negotiations on joining ceasefire regime have been continued with field commanders of illegal armed groups in Muaddamiyet al-Shikh in the Damascus province, and detachments of armed opposition in the Homs, Hama, Aleppo, and al-Quneitra provinces.

The number of ceasefire application forms signed with leaders of armed groupings remained 88.

Ceasefire observation

Within last 24 hours, 36 shellings performed by illegal armed formations have been registered in the provinces of Aleppo (19), Damascus (16), and al-Quneitra (1).

In the Damascus province, armed formations of the Jaysh al-Islam grouping, which had claimed to be the opposition one, have fired mortars and small arms against Jaubar (twice), Kabun, and al-Qasa.

Ahrar al-Sham armed formations have fired mortars against al-Sakhine quarter in the Aleppo city. Free Syrian Army armed formations have shelled Hai Saif al-Daula quarter in the Aleppo city.

In the Aleppo province, terrorist groupings of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (Jabhat al-Nusra) and ISIS have fired MLRS, mortars, antitank grenade launchers and small arms against Ansar inhabited area, Binyamin (twice), Leramon, Aqyul (twice), Karim Muhas, Tarba Lul, Tarik al-Bab, Dahiya al-Assad, Karim Katariji, and Ashrafiyah quarters, al-Assad military academy, area of the paperboard plant and gas factory, electricity station in Sheikh Said quarter, and Kastello trade center in the Aleppo city.

In the Damascus province, terrorists have shelled Haush Harabu, Arbil (two times), Haush Nasri, Jaubar (three times), Bala al-Kadima (two times), Mazraad Mahmud, al-Wafidin camp and highway near Harasta.

Terrorists have also shelled Hadar in the al-Quneitra province.

Russian Aerospace Forces and Syrian Air Force did not make strikes on opposition armed formations, which follow ceasefire regime and informed the Russian or American Centres for reconciliation about their location.

Humanitarian aid to the population of Syria

Within last 24 hours, three humanitarian events have been held, in course of which civilians have received humanitarian aid:

– in Hananu 3 quarter of the Aleppo city – about 3 tons;

– in Sheikh Maqsood quarter of the Aleppo city – about 2 tons;

– in the State Hospital in Masyaf in the Hama province – about 1 ton.

Posts with hot meal and items of first necessity continue their work for civilians who leave the districts of the Aleppo city, which are under control of terrorist armed groupings.

Additional information

Within last 24 hours, 302 civilians have left the blocked areas of the Eastern Aleppo under the auspices of the Russian Centre for reconciliation. More than 1,100 civilians have returned to their houses in the eastern areas of Aleppo, which had been liberated from insurgents.

In accordance to the decision of the President of Syria, 10 insurgents, who had laid down their arms, have been granted amnesty.

The General Staff of the Russian Federation announced large losses of terrorists in Aleppo

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Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Federation Valery Gerasimov said on Wednesday that all the terrorist attacks in Aleppo with the hope to escape from the city were repelled, the terrorists have suffered huge losses.

According to Gerasimov, the Syrian government forces were able to repel all attacks of the militants, who suffered heavy casualties and they do not the possibility to escape from the city.

Whis this Gerasimov called faction leaders who remain in the city, to lay down their weapons and leave the city.

Gerasimov has assured that the Russian Center for Reconciliation and government troops are ready to ensure the safety of the exit of the city.

It will be possible to exit Aleppo during the next humanitarian pause, which will operate 4 November from 9.00 to 19.00. According to Gerasimov, the decision on cease-fire has been taken to avoid the “senseless victims.”


West Groundlessly Accuses Russia of Indiscriminate Bombing of Aleppo – Gen Staff


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   Western countries have launched a smear campaign against the Russian Aerospace Forces accusing them without any evidence of indiscriminately bombing the Syrian city of Aleppo, the Russian General Staff said Thursday.

“I would like to underscore that the Russian aviation carries out single pinpoint strikes on targets outside Aleppo and outside residential areas. Those targets are verified in advance. We do not strike weddings and funeral trains,” the chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate said.

   The situation in Syria’s Aleppo remains difficult, residents are staging protest actions which are suppressed by terrorists.

   “The most difficult situation persists in the region of Aleppo. The residents, discontent with the actions of militants, stage spontaneous protests, which are cruelly suppressed by the terrorists,” Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy said.

Syria’s civil war between government forces and a wide range of insurgents, including terrorists opposition forces, has ranged for some five years and has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

The General Staff of the Russian Federation: the United States are not familiar with the real situation in Syria

19 September 2016 16:15

The United States does not have effective levers of influence on the moderate opposition, and are not familiar with the real situation in Syria, was told to reporters today by chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Sergei Rudskoy. Also, according to him, the Russian General Staff believe that the Syrian government forces makes no sense to observe a unilateral ceasefire because of violations by militants, reports radio “Vesti FM.”

Rudskoy added that the Russian and Syrian aircraft over the past week did not cause impacts on areas that have been agreed in the framework of the agreements reached in Geneva. Meanwhile, the Royal British Air force participated in air strikes of the international coalition against terrorism in Syria, which killed the Syrian military, the Associated Press reported, citing the statement of the Ministry of Defence.

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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.

Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces met his Pakistani colleague in Moscow


The Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces met his Pakistani colleague, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan General Rashad Mahmood in Moscow.

According to the Russian Chief of the General Staff, in recent years, meetings of defence ministers of Russia and Pakistan have boosted the relationships between the Armed Forces of both countries.

He noted that in 2016, the programme of joint military cooperation activities of Russia and Pakistan was very rich and included “negotiations of General Staffs, joint exercises, exchange of military delegations”.

“The sphere of preparation of military professionals has also good prospects,” added Valery Gerasimov.

In his turn, Rashad Mahmood said that the relationships of the military departments of Russia and Pakistan at the strategic level have made a significant step forward.

According to him, the visit of the Russian Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu in Pakistan, which took place on November 2014, became a breakthrough in the relationships between the military departments of both countries and their Armed Forces”.

“In the course of the last several years, all our Commanders-in-Chief and Commanders of arms of service have visited your country several times. Now we hope that you will also visit Pakistan,” added Rashad Mahmood.

It is to be reminded that this year servicemen of the Southern MD will for the first time take part in the joint Russian-Pakistani tactical exercise “Friendship – 2016”, which is to take place on the territory of Pakistan. It will be participated by about 200 servicemen from both countries.