Russia and Syrian government will start a large-scale humanitarian operation in Aleppo today, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Thursday.
"In accordance with the order of the Russian president to start a large-scale humanitarian operation together with the Syrian government to provide assistance to the population of Aleppo," Shoigu said.
Civilians will be able to leave Aleppo via three corridors, while one more corridor may be used by militants who wish to lay down arms. "The Russian Center for reconciliation of warring parties will open three humanitarian corridors together with the Syrian government to provide assistance to people who were taken hostage by terrorists, as well as for militants who want to lay down their arms. Mobile centers will be opened near these corridors to provide food and medical assistance to people," the defense minister added.
Russia still expects US to provide coordinates of Free Syrian Army
Russian Defense Ministry still hopes to receive from the United States coordinates of areas where Free Syrian Army is stationed, Sergey Shoigu said.
"We still hope to receive from our US colleagues the coordinates of areas where units of the Free Syrian Army are stationed and information about a typical unit of moderate opposition - what weapons and equipment they usually have, including the number of tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery systems," Shoigu said.
"Since US partners have not provided information on disengagement between Jebhat al-Nusra (terrorist organization banned in Russia) and Free Syrian Army, we will create the fourth corridor in the north of Aleppo toward Castello Road for safe passage of armed militants," he said.
"We have repeatedly called on opposing sides to reconcile, but militants continued to violate ceasefire regime, to shell settlements, to attack positions of government forces. The humanitarian situation has deteriorated in Aleppo and its suburbs," Shoigu explained noting that such measures are taken "exclusively to ensure security of Aleppo residents."
Amnesty to gunmen who laid down arms
The Russian Defense Ministry calls on the Syrian government to guarantee amnesty to the gunmen not involved in bloody crimes who will lay down arms, Shoigu also said.
"To avoid unnecessary casualties among the militants who have not laid down arms yet and were not involved in the bloody crimes we ask the leadership of the Syrian Arab Republic to guarantee them amnesty and pardon," Shoigu said.
Over 500 people were killed and around 2,000 more injured in suicide bombings of positions of Syrian government forces over the last two weeks, Shoigu added.
"Over the last two weeks, eight terrorist attacks were carried out at positions of Syrian government forces with participation of 21 suicide bombers who used three infantry fighting vehicles and 12 car bombs. These terrorist attacks killed over 500 people and injured around 2,000 more," he said.
A ceasefire regime brokered by Russia and the United States on February 22 officially came into effect in Syria at midnight Damascus time on February 27. This does not cover terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, both outlawed in Russia, and other groups recognized as terrorist by the United Nations Security Council.
An hour before the ceasefire came into force, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution in support cessation of hostilities in Syria. The document was initiated by Russia and the United States and won support from all the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council.
First published by TASS.
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