Thursday, October 20, 2016

Shaky Russian/Syrian Ceasefire in East Aleppo

Shaky Russian/Syrian Ceasefire in East Aleppo

by Stephen Lendman

If things hold true to form, Syrian/Russian declared ceasefire in East Aleppo won’t prove more successful than earlier efforts to halt fighting. 

Agreed on Geneva terms last month were undermined by Pentagon warplanes massacring scores of Syrian soldiers, a willful act of mass murder to continue war in Aleppo, while irresponsibly blaming Russia and Syria for US high crimes.

A humanitarian pause in east Aleppo remains in force from 8AM - 7PM local time Thursday. Government forces withdrew from combat areas so militants and civilians can leave through special corridors - measures taken to ensure their unimpeded exit.

According to Fars News, “(i)n the presence of a large number of journalists, military, religious and judicial officials, the Russian and Syrian soldiers reviewed and drilled the A to Z steps of the plan for evacuating militants from Aleppo city and relocating them to Idlib province.”

“Terrorists are to leave Aleppo via two corridors in Castello and Bostan al-Pasha. Several buses hoisting flags of Syria and Russia will carry them to the specified locations.”

They’ll be accompanied by security forces to al-Lairamoun square where Red Crescent representatives await them. Terrorists wanting to return to normal life will be pardoned, their safety guaranteed. Others will be relocated to Idlib.

According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), east Aleppo terrorists targeted the Bustan al-Qaser humanitarian corridor with “rocket shells, machineguns and snipers,” intimidating civilians and militants, preventing them from leaving.

Syria’s Army Command issued a warning, saying “(t)he fate of those militants who won’t lay down their arms is sealed.”

Putin said Russia and Syria will “extend the pause in delivering airstrikes (on eastern Aleppo) for as long as possible, depending on developments in this territory…until we face intensification of activities of armed groups in Aleppo.”

Separately, Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin blasted Washington’s refusal to cooperate in delivering humanitarian aid to eastern Aleppo, saying:

“If the US is concerned so much about the situation in eastern Aleppo, why did the US military refuse to stand along Castello Road together with the Russian military to ensure the non-stop operation of this vital artery. What is it? Cowardice or a desire to inflame passions around Aleppo at whatever cost?”

Washington aims to achieve its imperial objectives by “economic strangulation and indiscriminate, massive use of force.” 

Earlier on Wednesday, America, Britain and France blocked a Russian draft Security Council resolution, endorsing the Aleppo humanitarian mission - clearly showing support for endless war, not peace.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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