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Russian General Staff asks Putin for permission to continue strikes at militants in Aleppo

October 28, 2016, 17:56 UTC+3

The Russian General Staff says the militants have resumed active combat actions againt government forces

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© Russian Defense Ministry's Press and Information Department/TASS

MOSCOW, October 28, /TASS/. Russian military have asked President Vladimir Putin, who is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, to permit resumption of airstrikes at mlitants in eastern Aleppo, Gen Sergey Rudskoi, the chief of the main department for operations at the General Staff of the Armed Forces said on Friday.

"Since civilians continue dying and the militants have resumed active combat actions againt government forces, we've asked the Supreme Commander to authorize resumption of airsrikes at illegal paramilitary formations in eastern Aleppo," he said.

Russian planes steer clear of Aleppo for ten days

Rudskoi stressed the Russian combat planes in Syria have steered clear of the 10-kilometer zone around Aleppo for a tenth day running.

"All flights by Russian and Syrian warplanes inside the ten-kilometer zone around the city have remained paused for a tenth day running, although the situation around Aleppo remains complicated," he said.

He recalled that under the Russian-US agreements the regime of the cessation of hostilities was resumed for a period of seven days, from September 12 to September 19.

"During that period the Russian aerospace group and Syrian government forces paused all strikes against militant groups, except for those in areas controlled by the Islamic State (outlawed in Russia)," Rudskoi said.

The United States, however, failed to comply with its obligations. In the meantime, the armed groups it controls regrouped themselves and unilaterally resumed combat operations.

Militants try to break through into east Aleppo

According to Rudskoi, groups of militants have tried to break through into the eastern part of Aleppo in Syria.

"Militants from the eastern parts of Aleppo and their protectors organized an attack on the humanitarian corridor near the Al-Khai Souq market," the senior military official said. "It resulted in numerous victims among the civilians and state troops."

"All attacks of militants have been repelled, a total of eight tanks and five infantry fighting vehicles," Rudskoi added.

"Today, the groups of militants took advantage of the moratorium on the employment of Russian and Syrian aircraft in the area of Aleppo and made an attempt to break through into the city’s eastern part. The offensive was conducted by three groupings west of Aleppo with the brunt of the attack on the Assad Academy with the support of 20 tanks and 15 IFVs. All this was accompanied by hammering fire from rocket systems and artillery," Rudskoi said.

Terrorists kill 43 in Aleppo over past three days

According to Rudskoi, shelling of Aleppo by terrorists has claimed the lives of 43 civilians in the past three day.

"Over the past three days, the terrorists opened fire from mortars and so-called hellfire units at western districts of Aleppo, thus killing 43 and wounding 96 peaceful civilians," Gen Rudskoi said.

"For instance, on October 26 three students died and another fifteen were wounded as gunfire hit at a school in Al-Shahba quarter, Al-Wataniya district," he said

Gen Rudskoi said the heads of 163 rural populated localities signed agreements on reconciliation since the beginning of October, bringing their total number to 857 at present. Roads and social facilities are undergoing revitalization there now, supplies of electricity have resumed and water supply systems are back into operation again.

The total population of the localities, the mayors of which have signed the reconciliation agreements exceeds 2 million. More than 34,000 residents have already returned to their villages.

School shelled from area controlled by moderate opposition

According to the Lieutenant General, a school in the Syrian area of Hay al-Andalus came under fire on Thursday opened from the area controlled by moderate opposition.

"On October 27, during the mortar shelling three mortars hit the school building in the Hay al-Andalus district, killing 12 civilians (with three schoolchildren among them) and wounding 14 (with ten schoolchildren among them," Rudskoi said.

"The shelling was delivered from the area of Leramun by a Jabhat al-Nusra unit (the terrorist group banned in Russia) and from the area of Tirabl al-Haleq by a Jaysh al-Fatah group reporting to the so-called moderate opposition controlled by the United States," he said.

Cooperation needed 

The Lieutenant General stressed Russia, the US and the Middle Eastern countries have been holding talks on the normalization of the situation in Aleppo.

"We have been cooperating with our counterparts from the US and a number of the Middle Eastern countries to draw up proposals aimed at stabilization of the situation in Aleppo," he said.

Russia thinks that the adopted agreements should be made public, he says.

"Each side needs to bear personal responsibility for own commitments," the general noted.

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