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Moscow says Russian air group helping Syrian army to prevent another blockade of Aleppo

April 15, 20:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to available information, about 8,000 Jabhat al-Nusra gunmen have been concentrated southwest of Aleppo, and up to 1,500 men more - north of that city, the Russian Foreign Ministry
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© Gennady Khamiliyanin/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, April 15. /TASS/. Actions of the Syrian army backed by Russia’s air group are geared not to let Jabhat al-Nusra armed groups to take control over Syria’s northern regions. No storm of Aleppo is planned, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday.

"According to available information, about 8,000 Jabhat al-Nusra gunmen have been concentrated southwest of Aleppo, and up to 1,500 men more - north of that city," the ministry said, adding that Jabhat al-Nusra gunmen never stop attacks at the districts of Sheikh Maksoud and al-Zahraa and continue an offensive at the settlement of Handrat.

"If these terrorists’ actions are not stopped, civilians in Syria’s northern areas might find themselves in a blockade again. That is why the actions of the Syrian army backed by the Russian air group are geared at defeating Jabhat al-Nusra plans. However no storming of Aleppo in planned," the ministry stressed.

"After force realignment, Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups acting in the provinces of Aleppo, Homs, Hama and Damascus are attempting offensives at the positions of government forces," the ministry noted.

"Especially alarming are reports about infiltration of gunmen intro government-controlled territories to commit terrorist attacks and acts of sabotage," the ministry said.

A ceasefire regime brokered by Russia and the United States on February 22 officially came into effect in Syria at midnight Damascus time on February 27. This does not cover terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, both outlawed in Russia, and other groups recognized as terrorist by the United Nations Security Council.

An hour before the ceasefire came into force, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution in support cessation of hostilities in Syria. The document was initiated by Russia and the United States and won support from all the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council.

Russia began to deliver pinpoint air strikes against terrorist targets in Syria on September 30, 2015 at the request from Syria’s President Bashar Assad. Withdrawal of the major part of Russia’s air group from Syria began on March 15. The Russian Defense Ministry says however that Russian warplanes will continue air strikes against terrorist targets.

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