Russia not to consider suggestions on 3-4 days' pauses in Syria - Lavrov

Russia will not take seriously suggestions on unilateral pauses of three-four days in the military actions in Syria, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"If again it comes to the requests for unilateral steps by Russia's Aerospace Force and Syrian Air Force, asking, give us another break of 3-4 days, and then we shall be able to persuade all the opposition it is serious, they should distance from Jabhat Al-Nusra, then we are not considering those talks serious any longer," Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Vesti V Subbotu weekly television program.

"For several times over the past few months we met requests, announced in agreement with the U.S. breaks around Aleppo both for 48 hours, and for 72 hours, and every time we saw those breaks were used to enforce the militants with the force, supplies and arms, including militants from Al-Nusra (terrorist organization outlawed in Russia)," Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister stressed Russia is not interested in having the situation in Syria develop into a real civil war.

"Thus, now we may be speaking about reanimation of ceasefire on exclusively collective basis, where not we are to prove whatever to somebody unilaterally, but where we are to receive proofs it is all about a sincere wish to separate the opposition cooperating with the U.S. coalition from Jabhat Al-Nusra, to destroy it later on, and to make the opposition a part of the political process," he explained.

However, if the opposition’s sponsors fail to present proofs of the genuine aspirations for separating terrorists from the opposition, it would add to the suspicions the ceasefire discussions in reality mean the desire to rescue Jabhat Al-Nusra from attacks.

"Lately, we witness, instead of separating the opposition groups from that organization, we as it was said in a statement of the Russian Defense Ministry, a merger of opposing groups," Lavrov added.

"I can see a solution only in honest joint work, where everyone observes the ceasefire agreements instead of presenting unilateral demands for a "good-will gesture" hoping for future benefits," Lavrov said.

Speculations regarding the likely disruption of the truce in Syria followed a series of incidents that took place over the past few days. The Syrian army’s command on Sept. 17 said that an air raid on Deir ez-Zor left 62 Syrian troops killed and about 100 other people injured. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said planes of the "anti-Islamic State coalition" attacked Syrian government troops, encircled by IS terrorists in the area of Deir ez-Zor’s airdrome.

"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," Lavrov said.

On Monday, Sept. 19, a joint humanitarian convoy of the United Nations and the Syrian Red Crescent Society came under attack. Twenty people were reportedly killed. The United Nations said that 18 out of 31 trucks had either been damaged or destroyed.

U.N. Secretary-General Bam Ki-moon has condemned the aid convoy shelling and called for investigation into the incident. Earlier, he described those who stand behind the attack as cowards. The US authorities claim that the convoy came under an air strike. The Russian Defense Ministry said a Predator combat drone of the US-led anti-terrorist coalition was in area of the UN convoy at the moment of the incident. Drones of this type are capable of attacking targets on the ground.

A ceasefire regime brokered by Russia and the United States on Feb. 22 officially came into effect in Syria at midnight Damascus time on Feb. 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.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who held thirteen-hours-long talks in Geneva on Sept. 10, coordinated a package of five documents called upon to bring about ceasefire in Syria and to lay down the foundations of a resumption of the political process.

The documents feature the separation of the armed opposition and terrorists and envision the delivery of joint Russian-U.S. airstrikes. They also specify a procedure for reacting to violations of the ceasefire and some aspects of delivery of humanitarian aid millions of people are wanting badly. The cessation of hostilities regime came into effect from 19:00 Moscow time on Sept. 12.

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