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Over 200,000 Residents of Aleppo Are Hostages of "Al-Nusra Front", Allied Groups- Churkin

Moscow’s experience of giving concessions to Syrian "rebels" following requests from the US, in the hope of it culminating in a "ceasefire" has not worked, Russia’s envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin has told the Security Council, adding that Moscow will no longer be following these steps, RT reported.

Churkin added that constant violations of the "ceasefire" have been committed  by "rebel" groups  despite Washington's promise to keep them under control.

“The American side de facto signed that it was unable to influence the groups it sponsors and to deliver on the deal as it promised. First of all, to separate those groups from terrorists and mark their positions on the ground accordingly,” he said.

 He dismissed criticism of the Syrian army, expressed at the Security Council meeting by the US, France and the UK, over the latest army operation in eastern Aleppo.

He said that part of the city of Aleppo hosts an estimated 3,500 "fighters", of which 2,000 belong to the "Al-Nusra Front" terrorist group, which uses the civilian population of those areas as human shields while indiscriminately attacking residential areas controlled by the Syrian government.

“Over 200,000 residents of Aleppo are hostages of the Al-Nusra Front and groups allied with it,” the Russian envoy said.

Churkin said the terrorists have heavy weapons, tanks, including multiple rocket launchers and artillery systems, which they do not hesitate to use. He also added that they had managed to acquire these weapons with the direct help of the countries who would support anyone opposing the Syrian government.

Churkin said the militants are the main reason why attempts to deliver humanitarian aid to Aleppo have failed, contradicting accusations by the US, which blames Russia and Damascus.

Churkin dismissed the statements made by his US counterpart Samantha Power, who said Russia had to prove that it genuinely has intentions of bringing peace to Syria, saying the other parties also have to prove they are willing to take steps towards achieving a "ceasefire".

“The ceasefire can only be salvaged now on a collective basis. It's not us that have to prove something to somebody unilaterally. We have to see proof that there is a genuine desire to separate US-allied rebel groups from the Al-Nusra Front, then destroy the Al-Nusra Front and bring the opposition into a political process. Otherwise our suspicions that this was only meant to shield the Al-Nusra Front would only grow stronger.”

De Mistura: No information about the side responsible for attacking humanitarian aid convoy in Aleppo

During the session, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that he has no information about the side responsible for attacking the humanitarian aid convoy in Aleppo, and stated that the number of civilians in Aleppo’s eastern neighborhoods is 250,000, but he neglected to mention the civilians in the neighborhoods under the state’s control that are being targeted by terrorists with hundreds of shells on daily basis, with the Envoy using evasive language when addressing the situation in Aleppo.

China stresses need to eliminate terrorists in Syria in order to launch the political process

Meanwhile, China’s representative at the Security Council Liu Jieyi stressed the need to eliminate terrorist organizations in Syria in order to launch a political process for resolving the crisis, affirming the need to launch intra-Syrian dialogue in Geneva.

He also hoped for reviving the cessation of combat activities agreement, working in a joint manner to fight terrorism, and delivering humanitarian aid.

Venezuela: the Syrians alone can decide their country’s future away from foreign intervention

For his part, Venezuela’s representative Rafael Ramirez stressed that resolving the crisis in Syria must be based on respecting Syria’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, condemning the recent US attack on a Syrian Army position in Deir Ezzor.

Ramirez stressed that Syrians alone can decide Syria’s future, and that any forceful foreign intervention will fail, adding that holding this Security Council session to use it as a propaganda event against Russia and Syria will not help recover trust between sides nor will it alleviate humanitarian suffering or support efforts to resume dialogue and cease combat activities.

Egypt Urges launching dialogue as soon as possible

In turn, Egypt’s representative Amr Aboulatta called for working towards implementing the Russian-American agreement, stopping combat, and launching direct dialogue among Syrian sides as soon as possible and without preconditions.

H.M

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