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Russian calls on Syrian opposition to distance itself from extremist groups

April 04, 2014, 23:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, April 04, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has called on the Syrian opposition, including the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, to distance itself from “extremists and bandits who kill the Syrian people and plague it with infinite sufferings.”

“Politicians must not let terrorists and those who back them use themselves as an umbrella to realize their plans of wrecking Syria and making a beachhead of ‘global jihad’ of it,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its official website on Friday.

The situation in Syria is very tense. Innocent civilians die every day because of the activities of illegal armed groups, such as Al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups Jabhat Al-Nusra, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and the Islamic Front. The number of refugees and internally displaced persons feeling from outrages of militants is dramatically increasing. Social and economic infrastructure facilities, priceless treasures of the historical and cultural heritage are being razed to the ground, the ministry noted.

Indiscriminate shelling by militants of Syrian cities and villages has become routine. Recently, illegal armed groups have been increasingly using the so-called 'infernal machines,' or self-made devices, which they use to launch gas cylinders stuffed with shrapnel and explosives towards residential quarters, the ministry said, adding that more than 20 civilians had been killed in the past few days alone and dozens had been injured in mortar attacks. Thus, in the town of Jaramana, outside Damascus, populated mainly by Druzes and Christians, a mortar attack killed six children and injured five more. Damascus's neighborhoods of Kasaa, Abbaside Square, Jamaric, Damascus’ suburb of Harasta, and the town of Idlib came under intense shelling.

"The obvious goal of such criminal acts is to terrorize civilians,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed. “Such methods are not surprising, bearing in mind that ‘professional’ international terrorists have been increasingly joining illegal armed groups. For instance, Abu-Ahmad al-Maghribi, a Moroccan, who was recently eliminated by government forces in the province of Latakia. According to media reports, he was said to have fought in Afghanistan, been kept in the U.S. prison in Guantanamo, and had served a jail sentence for involvement in terrorist activities in his home country Morocco," the ministry said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed “the necessity of further movement towards a political and diplomatic settlement of the armed conflict in Syria.” Moscow is confident that there is no alternative to the Geneva negotiating process launched in Montreux on January 22. The Russian Foreign Ministry once again called for the soonest resumption of a sustained, intrusive intra-Syrian dialogue in Geneva.

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