GENEVA, August 1. /TASS/. Russia is calling upon all countries have a leverage to influence militant groups near Aleppo to urgently put strong pressures to make them stop mass atrocities against civilians being committed in response to the Russian-Syrian humanitarian operation, Russia’s envoy to the UN office and other international organizations in Geneva, Aleksei Borodavkin, has told TASS.
"The jihadists responded with mass terror to the large-scale Russian-Syrian humanitarian operation in Aleppo," Borodavkin said, adding that the situation in the city was "alarming" and "dramatic."
"Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists (the organization outlawed in Russia) in cooperation with Daesh (Arabic name of the Islamic State, outlawed in Russia), Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam have stepped up offensive operations in the north and south of Aleppo. Their artillery and mortars have been shelling the city’s residential areas and also humanitarian corridors and logistics centers that deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Aleppo," Borodavkin said. "Suicide bomber-driven vehicles loaded with explosives are being sent into humanitarian corridors. Terrorists have launched a bloody campaign of systematic annihilation of the city’s civilians."
"There is no justification for these crimes and there cannot be any," Borodavkin said. "We are urging all countries that have influence on the illegal armed groups operating in the area to instantly put firm pressures on them to make them stop these mass atrocities."
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on July 28 said that Moscow and Damascus were beginning a large-scale humanitarian operation in Aleppo. He said four corridors would be created for leaving the city - three for civilians and militants who have agreed to lay down arms, and a fourth, for militants carrying weapons.
Government forces on July 27 surrounded several thousand militants from approximately 20 groups in the eastern part of Aleppo. Many residents have migrated to the western areas after the city came under attack in 2012, but an estimated 200,000-250,000 civilians may still remain in the eastern areas.