Mixed Messages from Moscow on Aleppo
by Stephen Lendman
On Friday, Russian General Staff of the Armed Forces head Gen. Sergey Rudskoi said “(s)ince civilians continue dying and the militants have resumed active combat actions against government forces, we've asked the Supreme Commander (President Vladimir Putin) to authorize resumption of airsrikes at illegal paramilitary formations (US-supported terrorists) in eastern Aleppo.”
Putin suspended them on October 18. They remain “paused” for 11 days “although the situation around Aleppo remains complicated.”
“Militants from the eastern parts of Aleppo and their protectors organized an attack on the humanitarian corridor near the Al-Khai Souq market. It resulted in numerous victims among the civilians and state troops.”
“All attacks (were) repelled.” In the last three days alone, dozens of civilians were killed, many more seriously wounded. America violated cessation of hostilities terms agreed to in Geneva last month.
Putin so far rejected calls to resume bombing US-supported terrorists in eastern Aleppo - his press secretary Dmitry Peskov, saying he “considers it inappropriate at the present time…”
He believes the humanitarian pause should continue “to allow the withdrawal of the wounded and the militants who wish to leave the city (and) allow our American partners to fulfill the obligations to separate the so-called ‘moderate’ opposition and the terrorists, which they took upon themselves.”
Since all anti-government forces are terrorists, no so-called “moderates” among them, it’s unclear why he persists in claiming otherwise.
Perhaps it’s a matter of days or sooner before ordering resumption of Russian eastern Aleppo aerial operations, Peskov explaining:
“Considering that terrorists have announced the planned intensification of combat actions and also that they have really switched partially to active offensive operations, the Russian president proceeds from the fact that in case of emergency the Russian side reserves the right to use all available forces and resources to counter the terrorist groupings’ provocative actions and provide due support to the armed forces of the Syrian Arab Republic.”
So what is he waiting for? How many more Aleppo area civilian men, women and children will die before he acts? Asked when he intends resumption of aerial operations, Peskov said “I am unable to give a precise answer to your question.”
“The top priority, from the point of view of the president, is evacuation of the wounded and safe exit for the militants who wish to leave the city.”
How can they be when terrorists infesting eastern Aleppo continue holding them hostage as human shields, preventing them from escaping to freedom? Anyone trying risk death, serious injury or torture if captured.
Things could go on like this interminably, delaying hope for eventual conflict resolution. The time for Putin to act is now - going all-out to smash US-supported terrorists infesting eastern Aleppo and elsewhere throughout Syria.
Russia’s military understands the need to act. It’s unusual public announcement reflects disagreement with Putin - whether enough move him to action remains to be seen.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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