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Defense ministry says Russia fulfills all commitments on Syria to US

The opposition controlled by the United States used the cessation of fire only for regrouping, according to the Russian Defense Ministry

MOSCOW, October 7. /TASS/. The Russian Federation has fulfilled all commitments on Syria to the United States, while trying to meet its Western partners halfway, whereas the US-controlled opposition used the ceasefire regime to rearm, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Friday.

"I want to note that the Russian Federation fulfilled the commitments it undertook in full, while meeting our partners halfway," Antonov said.

"At the same time, the opposition controlled by the United States used the cessation of fire only for regrouping, replenishment of supplies of ammunition, armaments and materiel," he said.

"Restoring the combat efficiency, the militants again started attacks on the positions of the government troops," Antonov said. "In such conditions, the unilateral observation of the regime of cessation of hostilities by the government troops is impossible and senseless."

About 13,000 civilians and 3,500 servicemen of Syria’s government army were killed in a period from late February and September 1 in violations of the regime of cessation of hostilities,  Antonov added:

"In a period from February 27 to September 1, 2016, a total of 2,031 ceasefire violations by ‘moderate’ opposition groups were reported in Syria. As a result, a total of 3,532 servicement of the Syrian army and 12,800 civilians were killed. As many as 8,949 servicemen and 25,642 civilians were wounded." 

Aleppo crisis

Deliveries of humanitarian aid to Syria’s Aleppo last month were frustrated due to US military’s failure to push back armed opposition from Castello Road, Anatoly Antonov noted.

"Syrian troops withdrew from Castello Road twice on September 15 and 16," the deputy defense minister said. "However, the United States failed to organize the withdrawal of the armed opposition from the Castello Road and Syrian troops returned to the positions they held."

"The security for UN humanitarian convoys was not eventually provided and the delivery of the humanitarian aid to citizens of Aleppo was frustrated," he added. 

US and its inability to influence opposition 

The Amman-based analytical group has proved the United States’ inability to exert any influence on the Syrian opposition, Anatoly Antonov has stated.

He reminded that following the launch of the first ceasefire regime on February 27, 2016, a hotline between Russia’s air base at Hmeimim and the US analytical group in Amman, Jordan, was established. "However, from July 28, 2016, this communications channel was stopped by the United States’ unilateral decision and the group was subsequently dissolved. Obviously, one of the reasons was that over the period of its work, receiving regular requests from Russia to the United States on exerting influence on ceasefire violators, the group demonstrated that the Americans had no levers of influence on the opposition."

"US representatives have failed to talk the ‘moderate’ opposition into dropping unacceptable ultimatums which has brought the political process into a dead end," Antonov said.

At the same time, he stressed that officers of the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria have managed to persuade the elder of 742 populated localities in that country to join the reconciliation process. "As many as 69 armed groups of the ‘moderate opposition’ have declared their commitment of the regime of cessation of hostilities. More to it, work on a draft of Syria’s new constitution has been launched with Russia’s participation," he said.