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Lavrov slams attack against humanitarian convoy near Aleppo as 'unacceptable provocation'

Russian Foreign Minister has added that the ceasefire in Syria cannot be unilateral and urged all sides of the conflict to guarantee safe passage of humanitarian convoys

UNITED NATIONS, September 21 /TASS/. Russia insists on thorough and impartial investigation into the aid convoy attack near Aleppo, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council devoted to the Middle East on Wednesday.

"Another unacceptable provocation took place on September 19. A humanitarian convoy came under shelling in Aleppo. The rebels managed to advance into quarter 1070," the Russian foreign minister stressed.

"I am convinced that such coincidences require a serious analysis and investigation. We insist on thorough and impartial investigation on the attack on the relief convoy," Lavrov said. 

All sides of the Syrian conflict, including armed units, should guarantee the safe passage of humanitarian convoys in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has stated. 

"Both the armed units and their sponsors should provide relevant guarantees (on security of humanitarian convoys - TASS). The U.N. representatives who accompany these convoys should have these guarantees," the Russian foreign minister stressed. 

Strikes against Syrian troops near Deir ez-Zor

The US-led anti-terrorist coalition’s air raid against Syrian troops near Deir ez-Zor was an outrageous violation of truce in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said:

"The coalition’s strikes against the positions of government troops in Deir ez-Zor were an outrageous violation of the cessation of hostilities regime. Moreover, the Islamic State (terrorist group outlawed in Russia - TASS) at once launched an attack against government troops." 

The Syrian army’s command on September 17 said that 62 Syrian troops were killed and about 100 people injured as a result of an air strike in Deir ez-Zor.

According to Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, the international "anti-Islamic State coalition" delivered four strikes against Syrian government troops surrounded by Islamic State militants near the airdrome of Deir ez-Zor.

Ceasefire violations

Russian Foreign Minister has emphasized that any discussion about unilateral ceasefire measures in Syria is now impossible, because it is up to all parties involved to take the appropriate steps: 

"Achieving that (establishing truce - TASS) will be possible only through simultaneous, synchronized steps by all parties to the Syrian conflict." 

Lavrov still believes there are chances for preserving the regime of cessation of military hostilities in Syria:

"All the members of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) without exception need to formulate strong guarantees that they will make the detachments, which are operating on the terrain and on whom they can have influence, observe all the conditions of the ceasefire regime. If we manage to agree on such an integrated approach, then I think that the regime of cessation of military hostilities still has a chance to survive," Lavrov reiterated. 

"There will be no unilateral pauses. We’ve been through this already. There were unilateral pauses around Aleppo for 48 hours, and for 72 hours, and each time the militants used the periods of quiet to get ammunition and reinforcements. Possibly it will be wrong to discuss unilateral measures."

Unfortunately, attempts to influence the opposition groups in Syria so that they stick to the ceasefire have failed to yield any tangible results, Sergei Lavrov said: 

"On the whole, in spite of our appeals, the appeals that were written in the UN Security Council’s resolutions about the need to influence the relevant groups, few results have been achieved in this sphere," he said.

"I have mentioned the list handed to us by U.S. partners with 150 organizations on it that were named as participants in the cessation of hostilities. However, over 20 groups out of them issued immediate and official statements after September 12, asserting they would not fulfil the relevant agreements," he said.