Translated by Ollie Richardson
As soon as the Syrian Army cleared out militants from a substantial part of Eastern Aleppo, the leaders of a number of Western countries threatened to impose sanctions against “individuals and legal persons acting in the interest of the Syrian regime”. From Syrian President Bashar al-Assad it was demanded to approve the opposition’s plan to put an end to the “terrible situation in Aleppo”, and Russia is accused of hindering the delivery of humanitarian aid. The material of RT will look at how the progress of Damascus in liberating the city from terrorists is met in the West.
Over the past month, the Syrian army has managed to liberate over 70% of the Eastern part of Aleppo that was controlled by militants for over four years. Such data was reported by the Russian Centre of Reconciliation of the Warring Parties in Syria. In this part of the city weapons were produced, and from them the residential areas of Western Aleppo were shelled. However today, when a substantial part of the Syrian metropolis has been liberated by forces of the government army, and civilians are returning to their homes, the rhetoric of Western countries towards Assad and Russia sharply toughened.
The threat of sanctions
Thus, on 7th December, the leaders of the USA, UK, Germany, Canada, France, and Italy declared the possible introduction of sanctions against “individuals and legal persons acting for or on behalf of the Syrian regime.”
The message from the White House also called on the UN to investigate reports of war crimes in Syria and to collect evidence to bring those responsible to justice. Earlier, the U.S. and several other countries accused only Assad’s government and the Russian Air Forces of war crimes in Syria, ignoring, for example, the recent shelling by militants on a Russian hospital, which killed two doctors.
At the end of November, the Bundestag proposed to impose new sanctions against Russia because of the situation in Syria. Earlier, this idea was sounded by the USA, France, and the UK.
Requests to affect Assad
Despite the ongoing threats to impose new restrictive measures against Russia, countries of the West never cease to urge Moscow to exert pressure on the Syrian government to change the situation in Aleppo.
In particular, in the statement released on December 7th, the U.S. said that Assad must endorse the UN plan, which earlier accepted earlier by the Syrian opposition. It, according to the West, will put an end to “the terrible situation in Aleppo”.
It is precisely due to the actions of the Syrian Arab Army that civilians can finally return to their homes. On Wednesday morning correspondents of RT became the first TV journalist to visit the neighbourhoods of the Old city of Aleppo liberated in the night of December 7th. A few hours later, after the terrorists were driven out of the Eastern neighbourhoods, a queue formed of locals waiting to meet their relatives, which the militants used as human shields. RT was able to film exclusive footage.
Appeals for a truce
Another response to the progress of the Syrian army in Eastern Aleppo is the appeals for an immediate cease-fire — despite the fact that the militants repeatedly violated the ceasefire and used it to regroup forces.
Concern about humanitarian aid
Another contradicting statement came from British Prime Minister Theresa May. She claimed that the Russian military allegedly obstructs the delivery of humanitarian aid in Aleppo.
In response, the official representative of the Ministry of Defence of Russia – Major General Igor Konashenkov – reminded the British authorities that during the years of the conflict, they did not deliver to Aleppo “a gram of flour and no blankets”.
“Therefore, if the UK government really wants to send humanitarian aid to the residents of the Eastern areas, then all the conditions for this exist. Just tell us where the hold-up is. If there is no British humanitarian aid for Aleppo, stop getting in the way of others’ help,” he added.
However, after the statement of the British Prime Minister, a similar accusation was made by the EU High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.
According to her, EU member states are ostensibly “the only suppliers” of humanitarian aid to the population of Syria. Such a comment from a senior European official did not remain unnoticed by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As was noted by the Department, the statement of Mogherini indicates either a lack of awareness of the EU, or her conscious desire to mislead the world community.
“I would like to remind you that Russia, unlike other international players, is active in supplying — at the risk of the lives of Russian military — thousands of tons of humanitarian aid to different parts of Syria, including the liberated areas of Eastern Aleppo, where there are now all necessary conditions for the delivery of such goods. Unfortunately, the international community is not very willing to join this effort. If, however, the EU’s high representative has in mind the delivery of assistance to terrorists and extremists, then we do not participate in this,” reads the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
In addition, in recent days, hundreds of militants had the opportunity to leave Aleppo, after they laid down their arms. They all received amnesty.
On 7th December, the Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov noted that all that remains in the Eastern part of the city are members of the armed forces united around the group “Jabhat al-Nusra”, and they are terrorists.
“Several hundred settlements have joined the ceasefire. We receive almost every day information that a new group has joined the ceasefire. As for those in Eastern Aleppo (whoever is there), they all unite around the terrorist organization “Jabhat al-Nusra”. All of them are militant-terrorists,” declared Peskov.
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