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MOSCOW, August 1 /TASS/. Russian planes actively help Syrian army to repel militant attacks and deliver selective air strikes at militant positions near Aleppo, Sergei Rudskoi, the head of the main operational department of the Russian General Staff, told journalists on Monday.
"The Russian Aerospace Forces’ planes actively support government troops helping them to repel the enemy attacks and delivering selective air strikes at the militant positions," he said.
Rudskoi added that unlike the US-led coalition the Russian planes were not bombing target located within the city boundaries.
Russia and the Syrian government have launched a full-scale humanitarian operation near Aleppo on July 28. Planes are dropping food, medical supplies and essentials meant for the civilians.
According to Rudskoi, seven humanitarian corridors are open in Syria's city of Aleppo for civilians and surrendering militants.
"Seven humanitarian corridors are open to save and help civilians who have found themselves hostages to terrorists, and to miitants who want to surrender arms," he said, adding that a separate corridor is open in the city’s north towards the Castello highway for armed militants.
"All the corridors have been staying open since yesterday both from the city’s eastern quarters and inside the city. After receiving food and medical assistance, civilians can return to their homes," he said.
Humanitarian corridors from Aleppo were opened on July 28 as part of a joint operation of the Russian military and the Syrian government. Initially, three corridors were opened for civilians and surrendering militants and one more - for armed militants.
Later, the Russian defense ministry said that such humanitarian corridors could be opened not only from but also to Aleppo and announced plans to open four more such corridors. Fierce fighting is under way in the city outskirts.
Rudskoi said terrorists in the east of Aleppo have executed four people for an attempt to flee the city via the humanitarian corridors.
"Considerable losses are hindering the insurgents’ leaders who are pulling up reserves from other directions and are intimidating the government troopers. They are preventing the local population from leaving the area of hostilities and continue using ordinary people as ‘live shields’," Rudskoi said.
He added that the terrorists had executed four people in the eastern part of Aleppo for an attempt to flee the city via the humanitarian corridors on Sunday.
According to Rudskoi, a group of some 5,000 militants tried on Sunday to mount an offensive south-west of Aleppo, the attack was repelled.
"Before the attack, suicide bombers blew up four infantry fighting vehicles rigged with explosives at the positions of the Syrian government troops. The attack was launched under the leadership of Jabhat al-Nusra," he said.
According to him, by 04:00 am Monday, the attack was repelled by the Syrian army and militias with support of the Russian aviation. "More than 800 militants were killed during the fighting, 14 tanks, 10 infantry fighting vehicles, more than 60 vehicles with mounted guns were destroyed", Rudskoi said.
At the same time, he said, units of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra groups (both organizations banned in Russia), as well as "formations of the so-called moderate opposition that joined them" continue unceasing attacks" on the Syrian troops near Aleppo "with a view to encircling the city," using suicide bombers on a massive scale. Over the past two months, Rudskoi said, more than 100 acts of terrorism have been committed in the area of ··Aleppo. According to him, over the past week alone, more than 250 people were killed and some 900 were injured in four terrorist attacks.
Rudskoi went on to say that forty-two civilians have been killed and 98 wounded in shelling of Syria’s city of Aleppo by militants since July 28, Chief of Russia’s General Staff Main Operations Department Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi said on Monday.
"Shelling of living quarters and positions of government troops continues from areas controlled by terrorist groups. In the period since July 28 alone, more than 30 episodes of shelling from multiple missile launcher systems have been reported in Aleppo’s dwelling quarters. As a result of shelling, 42 civilians were killed and 98 wounded," he said.
According to Rudskoi, the ministry fully supports the proposals of UN Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura on the humanitarian situation in Aleppo.
"The Russian Defense Ministry has carefully studied and fully supports the proposals of UN Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura for improving the modalities of the Russian-Syrian humanitarian operation in Aleppo," he said.
Rudskoi added that the Russian side was ready to ensure food supplies to the eastern part of Aleppo with the UN humanitarian convoys. "The only condition is that no new weapons will be allowed to get into the city," he stressed.
The Syrian government troops conduct negotiations with a number of moderate opposition formations in Aleppo on ceasing hostilities, and 82 militants have laid down arms in the east of the cityю
"As of today, 324 civilians, including 76 children, have moved from the eastern districts of Aleppo to the humanitarian aid centers, and 82 militants laid down their arms and are now under the amnesty procedure. The Syrian army command has now established contact with a number of formations of the so-called ‘moderate opposition’ and conduct negotiations on ending the hostilities," Rudskoi said.
"Over the past week, 109 more populated localities signed the reconciliation agreement. As of today, there are 329 such settlements", he said.
On Sunday evening, the reconciliation center in Syria reported that corresponding agreements had been reached with representatives of 327 settlements.