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Russia can control observation of ceasefire in Syria — General Staff

Russia did its utmost to make preparations for truce in Syria, says the chief of the main operations directorate of Russia’s General Staff

MOSCOW, September 12. /TASS/. Russian militaries have every opportunity to exercise full control over the ceasefire observation in Syria where the regime of cessation of military hostilities is in force, Sergey Rudskoy, the head of the main operational department of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, said.

"I think that all of us have become convinced that we fully control in real time the situation in areas where the regime of the cessation of hostilities has been established," Rudskoy said during a video conference held at the Russian Defense Ministry on Monday.

Rudskoy stressed the need of strictly observing the ceasefire regime in Syria.

"Do not yield to provocations; carefully register all possible violations and report them to the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria; step up work with representatives of the Syrian Armed Forces and local government bodies; use the existing ‘hot line’ to maintain interaction with American partners," Rudskoy stressed.

Drones will be used to control ceasefire

According to Rudskoy, drones will be used to control ceasefire observance in Syria, all required information will be collected on the ground.

"Control over the parties’ observance of the Russian-U.S. agreements reached in Geneva on September 9, will be exercised by all means, including with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles," he said.

"We have all the possibilities to obtain objective data on the situation on the ground. You will be kept informed about the observance of the ceasefire regime daily so that you can provide objective coverage of the real situation," he said.

Russia did its utmost to make preparations for truce in Syria, he added. 

"In accordance with the aforesaid agreements the regime of the cessation of hostilities is resumed in the whole territory of the Syrian Arab Republic starting from 19:00 Moscow time. The Russian side has taken all the necessary preparatory measures to this end," he said.

"With the aim of ensuring the regime of the cessation of hostilities groups of field monitors have been deployed in all of Syrian provinces by the Russian center for the reconciliation of warring factions," he said.

Russia will go ahead with strikes on militants in Syria

Rudskoy said that Russian combat aircraft will continue to deliver strikes against terrorists in Syria.

"The Russian aerospace group will continue to attack terrorists in Syria. In order to identify the targets Russia and the United States are creating a joint center that will enable Russia’s aerospace force and the aviation of the US-led coalition to coordinate the strikes," he said.

Russia calls to resume communication between Hmeimim and Amman

Russia’s General Staff calls to waste not time and resume a communications channel between the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria headquartered at the Hmeimim airbase and the U.S. specialists in Amman.

"We are fully aware of all the difficulties that might arise in ensuring the regime of cessation of hostilities in Syria. We understand that a situation like the one in August 2016, when United Nations humanitarian deliveries to Aleppo’s eastern suburbs were frustrated due to the unwillingness of armed opposition groups, including those controlled by the United States, to let United Nations convoys via the territories they control, it not ruled out," Rudskoy said.

That is why a communications channel between the Russian reconciliation center at Hmeimim and the U.S. center in Amman "should be immediately resumed" to furnish a possibility of prompt information exchange and coordination of actions, Rudskoy stressed.

"At the same time, we hope that this time our American partner fulfill all of their obligations and the ceasefire regime is completely observed," he said.

Moscow considers handover of reconnaissance equipment to Syria

According to Rudskoy, Russia will consider Syria’s request for letting it take over the artillery reconnaissance equipment near Aleppo.

In a video conference at the Russian Defense Ministry the spokesman for the Supreme National Committee in Aleppo, Nazar Mohammed Said had asked for the handover of such equipment that would help expose the instances of bombardments and other violations of the cessation of hostilities.

"You request for obtaining artillery reconnaissance equipment will be considered," Rudskoy said.

Russia calls on Free Syrian Army to stop operations against Kurds

Rudskoy said Russia’s defense ministry calls to stop combat operations of the Free Syrian Army against Kurds in the north of Syria’s province of Aleppo.

"Bearing in mind that under the Russian-U.S. agreements, the resumption of the regime of cessation of hostilities covers the entire Syrian territory, we think it necessary to immediately stop combat operation of the Free Syrian Army against Kurd groups in the north of Syria’s province of Aleppo," he said.

According to Rudskoy, despite the ceasefire, efforts against the terrorist groups Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (both outlawed in Russia) in Syria "will be continued, even if their change their names."

More than 1,000 tons of aid delivered to Syrians

Rudskoy noted more than 1,000 tons of humanitarian aid have been delivered to 196 Syrian settlements, another six settlements have joined the ceasefire agreement in the last 24 hours.

"Russia’s Ministry of Defense continues efforts aimed at establishing dialogue between the parties to the intra-Syrian conflict. A greater number of settlements and Syrian opposition groups have been joining this process", Rudskoy said. According to him, 608 settlements have so far joined the reconciliation process.

"69 declaration lists have been signed with armed groups of the "moderate opposition", he added.

Moreover, the Russian center for reconciliation together with Syrian authorities continue to deliver humanitarian aid to the civilians in the settlements liberated from the militants, Sergei Rudskoy noted.

"More than 1,000 tons of humanitarian aid have been delivered to 196 settlements during 273 humanitarian missions", he informed.