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Russia FM: Syrian army backed by Russian planes unblocked Aleppo from east

February 12, 8:29 UTC+3
Russia will carry on its military operation against terrorists in Syria as they are not subject to truce
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Sergey Lavrov

Sergey Lavrov

© Alexander Scherbak/TASS

MUNICH, February 12. /TASS/.  The Syrian army backed by Russian warplanes unblocked Aleppo from the east, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after the talks on Syria settlement in Munich.

The minister stressed that Russia would carry on with its air military operations against terrorists  as they are not subject to truce in Syria.

"It is stated in our documents - and we talked about it - that ceasefire will not include Islamic State, Jebhat al-Nusra and other affiliated organizations that were recognized as terrorist by UN Security Council. That is why our Aerospace Defense Forces will carry on their operation against these organizations," Lavrov said after the meeting of International Syria Support Group at the Munich Security Conference.

"Talking about the task force that will develop the modalities and later monitor observation of ceasefire with help from the military, I think that it will help effectively solve many issues and resolve misunderstandings and miscommunication," the foreign minister said adding that "we consider this as one of the most important results of the meeting."

Lavrov also noted that Russia's proposals to the United States on military cooperation in Syria are still in force. 

As for a possible ground military operation against the Islamic State (terrorist group outlawed in Russia) in the country, the Russian diplomat once again pointed out that it would only escalate tensions.

US to join Russia in humanitarian aid deliveries to Syria by air

Lavrov also dwelled on deliveries of humanitarian aid to war-torn Syria.

A work group on the issues of the Syrian humanitarian aid will start its work on February 12, its meetings will be held on regular basis and there will be no discrimination to all parties involved in the Syrian conflict.

"The group will start its regular work tomorrow," Lavrov said after talks of Syria Support Group in Germany’s Munich. "The humanitarian aid will be delivered without any discrimination whatsoever."

According to the official, the United States will join Russia in humanitarian aid deliveries to Syria by air and a certain agreement has been reached on this issue.

"We shall continue, like it is fixed in today documents, working with the government and other opposing groups, which contact us," the foreign minister said. "We hope the US, countries of the region, other participants in the Syria Support Group will be using their influence on respective groups of the opposition to have them cooperate fully with the UN."

"Our common decision is to ease sufferings of the Syrian people, and we hope this would be done," Lavrov continued. "This is especially important since some of the recent events on settlement of the humanitarian problems in Syria referred to refugees only and did not refer to the huge numbers of the internally displaced persons. Thus, we have reasons to hope today we have done something positive, which will develop into practical actions."

"We hail the readiness of the United States to join the operation on parachuting humanitarian aid from aircraft in Deir ez-Zor, and agreed also on parachuting the aid in other districts as well, if conditions allow us to do that," Lavrov said after the Syria Support Group talks in Germany’s Munich.

"However, most efforts, of course, are to be applied ‘on the ground’," he said.

Impossible to exclude part of Syrian opposition from negotiations

The minister also expressed his position on the political settlement in Syria saying it will be impossible putting for talks with ruling authorities in Damascus only part of the opposition forces having appointed the rest as ‘consultants.’

"Some prefer not to remember that the transition [of power] should be based on the consent of the government and the broad range of opposition forces," Lavrov said after talks of Syria Support Group in Germany’s Munich. "Some believe that it will be enough to invite a delegation, which represents only a part of foreign opponents of the regime and to rank the rest as ‘consultants.’ This will not work."

"The principle for the political settlement in Syria is an agreement on the power transition basing on the mutual consent both from the government and the whole range of opposition forces," Lavrov said after talks of Syria Support Group in Germany’s Munich.

According to the Russian diplomat, reached agreements "should be implemented integrally without snatching out such terms as ‘transition’."

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