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Kremlin reiterates offer for militants to leave Aleppo 'still on the table'

December 07, 2016, 12:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Defense Ministry is working hard to make more Syrian armed opposition groups join the ceasefire

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MOSCOW, December 7. /TASS/.  Syrian militants can still leave Aleppo and this offer remains in force, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

"As for the exit of militants [from Aleppo], then, as you know, free passage was offered to them and this issue was discussed earlier," Peskov told journalists.

"And, indeed, this issue is on the agenda," he added.

As the Kremlin spokesman stressed, "unfortunately, only few have left."

"Most militants remain at their places," he noted.

Work is ongoing daily with the Syrian armed opposition on joining the ceasefire, the Kremlin spokesman said.

"As for those who are staying in the eastern part of the city [Aleppo], whoever may be there, they are united around the terrorist organization Jabhat al-Nusra [outlawed in Russia]," Peskov said.

"That is, all those who are around there are militants-terrorists," the Kremlin spokesman said.

The Russian presidential spokesman declined to comment on the reports that the Syrian army was controlling almost the whole city of Aleppo and re-addressed this issue to the Russian Defense Ministry.

‘We possess only general information that the Syrian army is, indeed, managing to liberate an increasingly larger number of eastern Aleppo districts from terrorist groupings each day," Peskov said.

On Russian campaign in Syria 

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has declined to give a direct answer to the question if it would be reasonable to step up Russia’s military activities in Syria.

However, he pointed out that the final decision would be made by the president.

"In this case, the defense ministry makes decision on tactics but as far as the strategy goes, the president, who is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, makes decisions based on the information received form the Defense Ministry and other agencies," the Kremlin spokesman told reporters.

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