MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. It is Washington and not Moscow that has been ignoring the United Nations Security Council Resolution on the Syrian ceasefire, the Russian Defense Ministry said, commenting on a statement made by White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.
"Before accusing Russia of violating the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2401 concerning Eastern Ghouta, the White House spokeswoman should have acquainted herself with the document. It is Washington and not Moscow that has been ignoring the resolution," the Russian Defense Ministry pointed out.
"It is Washington-controlled armed groups that have been attacking the Syrian government forces’ garrison in Harasta (Eastern Ghouta), seeking to change the de-escalation zone’s borders in breach of the agreements reached in Astana," the ministry noted.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Washington and its European partners did not issue a single statement condemning massive militant attacks, which had been taking place over the period of many months, but as soon as the Syrian government managed to fend off pro-US armed groups, the West started to make accusations "of bombing medical facilities" in Eastern Ghouta, while biased propaganda offices turned to spread rumors about chemical weapons attacks.
The Russian Defense Ministry pointed out that US Secretary of Defense James Mattis had said in early February that the Pentagon had no evidence to prove that the Syrian authorities had been using chemical weapons. "At the same time, Washington is not doing anything to contain militant groups active in Eastern Ghouta whose shelling of Damascus has been killing civilians every day."
Liberation of Aleppo
"As for Aleppo - the restoration of the city is underway, people are returning to peaceful life. Businesses are open, as well as markets, shops, social facilities and educational institutions, and residential dwellings destroyed by terrorists are being rebuilt. Everyone is free to visit Aleppo, as seen in regular reports made by journalists from influential western media outlets," the Russian Defense Ministry noted.
"However, the situation is quite different in Raqqa, ‘liberated’ through bombardments by the US-led coalition - people there are on the brink of death and have no hope of receiving assistance. At the same time, the situation in the Al-Rukban refugee camp, located in the US-seized Al-Tanf area, can be described as a humanitarian catastrophe," the ministry concluded.
On February 25, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution demanding that the parties to the Syrian conflict cease hostilities for at least 30 days so that humanitarian aid can be provided to civilians. All the 15 Security Council member states, including Russia, supported the document. According to the resolution, the ceasefire does not apply to military operations against the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia) and other terrorist groups.
At the Russian president’s order, a daily humanitarian pause from 09:00 to 14:00 is in effect in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta starting from February 27, aimed at providing civilians with an opportunity to leave the area. According to sources in the Russian Center for Reconciliation, militants many times have been shelling the humanitarian corridor set up for civilians willing to exit from the enclave. They also prevent people from leaving threatening them with death.