Russia wants to give Diplomacy another Chance in Syria
Asad warns that the getting back Aleppo will not be the end of the war in Syria.
The Syrian Army halted its attacks in Aleppo to allow 8,000 civilians to receive aid, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“This is the largest and most recent action for the withdrawal of civilians from eastern Aleppo,” Lavrov said at the meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation of Europe (OSCE) in Hamburg, Germany.
People have to walk five kilometers to leave the city behind. “Today, the Syrian Army has suspended active military operations in eastern Aleppo because a new voluntary evacuation of civilians is being carried out, the largest during this period,” the Russian foreign minister said.
The director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), Rami Abderrahman, told EFE that there was artillery fire from government troops in some areas on Thursday afternoon.
The United States and Russia exchanged attacks at the OSCE council, especially around Ukraine, but laid the groundwork for further negotiations around Syria.
According to Lavrov, he and his American counterpart, John Kerry, have agreed to resume consultations to allow the departure of all the fighters from the east of the city of Aleppo, the scene of intense fighting and shelling for weeks and that is getting closer and closer to be in complete control of the Syrian government.
Lavrov was cautious about the prospect of prospering from this initiative to tackle the Aleppo tragedy and announced that the Syrian army has halted its military actions in the city to allow civilians to leave. In addition, he warned that rebels who do not leave the city in this window of opportunity will be treated as terrorists.
This small gesture, which should begin on Saturday at a meeting of military and diplomats in Geneva, is the result of an intense agenda of meetings between the two Foreign Holders, including two bilateral meetings, despite the attacks registered in open sessions of the OSCE.
In his public speech, Kerry defended the need for defending democracy and human rights, “timeless principles” that “must be constantly defended” and warned of the “danger of authoritarian populism.”
Lavrov demanded “respect” for his country and equal treatment, in addition to the end of “double standards” and “coercion”, to restore “confidence” and ensure peace on the continent.
The Russian minister dismissed “the Russian threat” as a “myth” and suggested to the West to end the “belligerent rhetoric” and not to launch “allegations and requirements” before sitting down to dialogue.
On Wednesday, six Western countries called for an “immediate cease-fire” to be able to provide aid to the part of Aleppo that the insurgents still retain. They also warned of a “humanitarian disaster” and that war crimes are being committed.
Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has called for an army victory in the city of Aleppo, although the rebels are reluctant to surrender even though they have lost much of the eastern part of the city.
In an interview published by the state newspaper Al Watan, Assad spoke about the period that will come after taking back Aleppo, the largest in northern Syria, although the fighting is still going on inside.
For the president, the seizure of Aleppo will not end the conflict in the country, which has lasted for more than five years. “To be realistic, it does not mean the end of the war in Syria, but a big step towards the end,” said Assad, who acknowledged that he never thought of leaving any area without “liberating.”
“The terrorists are located in other areas, even if we take back Aleppo, we will continue the war against them,” he said.
Assad ruled out a new truce in the city, because, he said, it would benefit the “terrorists”, as it would give them a break and allow them to regroup. However, hours after this, a truce has been announced by Moscow from Hamburg.