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French top diplomat: Russia 'gives' Palmyra to IS while fighting against Aleppo militants

December 12, 2016, 16:01 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

According to the French minister, if Syrian army takes control over Aleppo that won’t put an end to the war

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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

BRUSSELS, December 12. /TASS/. Russia has given the Islamic State a chance to recapture Palmyra as it was focused on fighting against the armed groups of the moderate Syrian opposition in Aleppo, French Foreign Minister Jean Marc Ayrault assumed before the EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

"The Russians are just pretending to fight terrorism while in fact they have been focusing on Aleppo thus giving IS a chance to recapture Palmyra," he said.

According to the French minister, if Syria’s government forces take control over Aleppo that won’t put an end to the war. "What will happen if Aleppo falls? There is a risk that the war will go on," Ayrault said.

Militants from the Islamic State attacked Palmyra last Friday when they tried to seize oil wells and a military airbase on the outskirts of the city. On Sunday night, Syrian troops were reported to have retreated from the central part of the city while continuing to fight the terrorists.

The Syrian army, supported by the Russian Aerospace Force, had liberated Palmyra from the IS terrorists on March 27, 2016. After that Russian sappers took part in demining the city, particularly its ancient monuments.

When speaking on the Syrian conflict, Western politicians and media have been alleging that in Aleppo, Syrian army was fighting against the so-called "moderate opposition". However, at the Geneva talks and during other meetings over the course of the year, the US failed to define what the "moderate opposition" was. At the same time, the West has been neglecting the fact that members of Jabhat al-Nusra, recognized by the UN as a terrorist organization, were the backbone of the militants active in Aleppo. Moreover, the Islamic State flags can often be seen on the videos showing the militants’ positions in Aleppo.

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