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Zakharova says Syrian militants used humanitarian pause for regrouping forces

November 03, 2016, 15:55 UTC+3

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman has confirmed that Russia circulated the "White Book" on Syria in the UN Security Council

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. Militants in Syria have used the humanitarian pause for regrouping forces and building up arsenals, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Thursday.

"The situation in Syria is very grave," she said. "Jabhat al-Nusra (now renamed to Fateh al-Sham) and the Islamic State (both outlawed in Russia) used the October 20-23 humanitarian pause, introduced for easing the position of civilians locked up in Aleppo.

"They have regrouped forces, built up reserves and then tried to break through the defenses of Syrian government forces by launching a major offensive on western Aleppo on October 28-30," Zakharova said.

 "White Book" on Syria

Zakharova has confirmed that Russia circulated the "White Book" on Syria in the UN Security Council.

"These are photographic materials from the list of military actions by the US and its allies in Syria which lead to a big number of civilian deaths and destruction of civilian infrastructure," she said. "Theaw photographic materials underlie the White Book on Syria that the Russian side circulated in the UN Security Council," Zakharova added.

The diplomat called strange the reaction of the US Department of State which refused to comment on the document. "As things stand now, the State Department gives close attention to ‘sketched on the back of an envelope’ materials of such agencies as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’ and other dubious nongovernmental organizations, but it refused to comment on a selection of documented evidence that was prepared officially and handed over to the UN Security Council as an official document," Zakharova said. "This is absolutely inexplicable," she noted.

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