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Russian forces ready to ensure armed militants’ pullout from Syria’s east Aleppo — general

October 13, 17:51 UTC+3
Russia is also ready to keep supplying humanitarian aid to Syria’s Aleppo only under conditions of security provision from militants
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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. Russian forces are ready to provide for armed militants’ safe pullout and the passage of civilians from and to eastern Aleppo and the delivery of humanitarian aid, Head of the Main Operations Department at Russia’s General Staff Lieutenant-General Sergey Rudskoi said on Thursday.

"We’re ready to ensure safe pullout of armed militants and the unobstructed passage of civilians from eastern Aleppo and back," Rudskoi said.

"In the interests of solving these tasks, we’re ready to discuss any initiatives and proposals," the Russian general said.

According to Rudskoi, rallies have been held in various parts of eastern Aleppo since October 8 with a demand that militants open corridors from their controlled areas.

Russia is also ready to keep supplying humanitarian aid to Syria’s Aleppo only under conditions of security provision from militants. Rudskoy said militants near Aleppo had planted mines in the humanitarian corridors created for the evacuation of civilians from the city.

"We are still ready to assist the deliveries of humanitarian cargoes to the eastern districts of Aleppo and stand for the introduction of ‘humanitarian pauses,’" he said. "However, we need provided security guarantees from groups of militants in order to avoid the reoccurrence of the attack on the UN humanitarian aid convoy on September 19."

The senior Russian military official said corridors for all militants wishing to flee Aleppo, including with weapons, were still open in the area near the Castello Road.

"All residents of the city wishing to vacate the region at the issue are guaranteed a safe exit as well as the safe evacuation of wounded and ill people, who are also promised the necessary medical assistance," he said.

"However, militants must remove planted mines in the areas of humanitarian corridors, halt the massacre of all civilians wishing to leave Aleppo, and must not obstruct the free movement of people with the borders of the city," he added.

"Terrorist groups are pushing ahead with attacks on the positions of government troops in the north and south of the city in an attempt to break the encirclement and regain control of routes of bringing weapons and ammunition to militant groups operating in the eastern areas of Aleppo. Terrorists block the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians. Mines have been planted in the humanitarian corridors created for the civilian population," Rudskoi said.

A new wave of mobilization

According to Rudskoi, militants in eastern Aleppo have started a new wave of mobilization, drafting 14-year-old teenagers into their ranks.

"The heads of armed gangs continue using unexperienced fighters as a human shield and have started a new wave of mobilization in eastern Aleppo and are drafting teenagers already at the age of 14," the Russian general said.

Deprived of reinforcements from outside, the chieftains of the Jabhat al-Nusra grouping (outlawed in Russia as a terrorist organization) has forcibly mobilized a thousand people, Rudskoi said.

"Using these untrained people as a shield, they tried to break through the encirclement. The youths drafted against their will are refusing to fulfil assignments and deserting on a large scale and, as a result, are subjected to repressions. These actions are causing the protests of the parents and relatives of mobilized teenagers," the Russian general said.

Residents of eastern Aleppo discontent with the militants’ actions are staging spontaneous protests, which are being cruelly quelled by terrorists, he added.

"For example, residents installed state flags of Syria in several districts, including al-Hulyuk, near the Omar bin Khatab mosque, on October 6 while about 40 families tried to leave the territory controlled by militants. Fire was opened on them. Three people were detained and publicly executed by terrorists while the others were returned by force," the Russian general said.

West groundlessly accuses Russia of Aleppo bombardments

According to Rudskoi, Western countries are groundlessly accusing the Russian air task force of indiscriminate bombings of Syria’s Aleppo but fail to notice militants’ crimes.

"In order to reduce casualties, the commanders of armed gangs are placing their control posts, warehouses and other facilities on the first floors of residential buildings. At the same time, their residents continue to be held in the buildings seized by the militants, acting as a human shield," he said.

"These outrageous facts stay outside the Western countries’ attention. They do not want to register militants’ crimes or react to them," Rudskoi said.

Instead of this, an information campaign has been launched to groundlessly accuse Russian forces of indiscriminate bombardments of civilian facilities and residential quarters in Aleppo, the general said.

"At the same time, no fact and no document are given. Regrettably, the US-led coalition has not been fighting in the same active manner against terrorists on the territory of Syria and Iraq in the past two years," Rudskoi said.

Eight more communities sign truce deal

The general has pointed out that eight more communities in Syria had signed a truce deal.

"Over the past twenty-four hours, another eight communities have signed a truce deal. As of today, 783 populated areas have signed such agreements," he said.

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