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Putin: Terrorists use Syria ceasefire to try & regroup

(RT-17/9/2016) ~ Terrorists groups, which Russia expected to be separated from ‘moderate rebels’ with US help, and be subject to joint US-Russian attacks, are instead using the ongoing ceasefire to regroup, the Russian president said.

“We agreed that the Al-Nusra Front and the likes of it would be separated from the so-called healthy opposition factions, and we would be shown where the latter are located. But what we see today is not separation of the healthy part of the opposition and the terrorists. We see terrorist forces trying to regroup”, Vladimir Putin told journalists on Saturday.

Moscow and Washington agreed last week to use their influence on the Syrian government and the so-called moderate rebel forces respectively to establish a ceasefire in the war-torn country. While violence diminished, progress is undermined by violations.

Russia has repeatedly complained that the US is failing to keep its part of the bargain and stop the mingling of armed groups, which genuinely want peace in Syria, and those which want the hostilities to continue.

The US for its part accused Russia of not pressuring Damascus enough to facilitate humanitarian access to Syria. The Syrian government cited the danger posed by continued shelling by non-compliant rebel forces as the reason why humanitarian convoys were not allowed to pass through.

Putin said that despite the set-backs, Moscow is hopeful that this attempt at reconciliation in Syria would succeed.


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“We are more positive than negative and expect that the promises, which the US administration made to us, would be delivered,” he said.

The two nations are also at odds over another key issue. Moscow says it wants the terms of the US-Russian deal to be made public and endorsed in a UN Security Council resolution. Washington insists that the terms should remain classified, saying that otherwise the truce could be derailed.


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Smoke rises due to shelling on the rebel controlled town of Jubata al-Khashab, in Quneitra countryside, Syria September 15, 2016 © Alaa Al-Faqir / Reuters

US & US-controlled forces haven’t fulfilled any Syria ceasefire deal obligations

(RT-17/9/2016) ~ The US is still reluctant to take measures to force rebels under its control to implement the Syrian ceasefire, Russia’s Defense Ministry said, adding that if things do not change, Washington will be the sole side responsible for the failure of the truce.

“After five days of the ceasefire, it has to be noted that only the Russian and Syrian sides have been fully implementing their commitments. On its own initiative, Russia prolonged the cessation of hostilities for 48 hours, and yesterday it was extended for another 72 hours,” senior Russian General Staff official, Viktor Poznikhir, said at a briefing in Moscow.

But, according to Poznikhir, it is very different on the American side asthe US and the so-called moderate groups under their control didn’t fulfill a single commitment undertaken in the framework of the Geneva arrangements.”

The Russian official pointed out that “the main priority of the Russian-American agreements of September was the division of territories controlled by IS (Islamic State, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Jabhat al-Nusra, and the areas controlled by the ‘moderate opposition,’ as well the separation of the ‘moderate opposition’ from Jabhat al-Nusra.”

Such a division is essential for the implementation of the ceasefire in Syria because “without it, the hands of the government forces are tied. They can’t fight the terrorists without knowing which of them joined the truce and who didn’t,” he explained.

Numerous Russian appeals to the American side remain unanswered, which “raises doubts over the US’s ability to influence opposition groups under their control and their willingness to further ensure the implementation of the Geneva agreements.

“Russia is making every possible effort to hold off government troops from the use of force in return [to opposition attacks]. If the US does not implement the necessary measures to fulfill their obligations under the September 9 agreements, the responsibility for the failure of the ceasefire will be solely America’s,” Poznikhir said.

The inaction of the American side has already led to a worsening of the situation in Syria, the General Staff official stressed.

“Tensions are rising in Syria, especially in the provinces of Aleppo and Hama, where opposition groups are using the cessation of hostilities to regroup forces, refill their stocks of ammunition and weapons and are preparing an offensive in order to capture new territories,” he said.

“In the past 24 hours, the number of attacks has increased drastically. The positions of government troops, the people’s militia, and civilians were fired at on 55 occasions,” Poznikhir added.

Last week, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, and US Secretary of State, John Kerry, agreed to influence the Syrian government and the so-called moderate rebel forces respectively in order to establish a ceasefire in the country.

Since then, Russia has repeatedly complained that the US is failing to keep its part of the bargain. While the US, on its part, blamed Russia for not pressuring Damascus enough to facilitate humanitarian access to Syria. [While the Syrian government cited the danger posed by continued shelling by non-compliant rebel forces as the reason why humanitarian convoys were not allowed to pass through.]


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SOURCES:
RT News
RT News
Submitted by SyrianPatriots
War Press Info Network at:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/usa-moderate-terrorism/
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