Assad, Putin discuss anti-terror fight in Syria
Iran Press TV
Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:6PM
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, have discussed the latest developments regarding the battle against terrorism in Syria.
During the phone conversation on Wednesday, the two leaders underlined the need for political efforts to resolve the foreign-sponsored crisis in Syria that began in March 2011.
Putin stressed that Moscow's stance on Syria has not changed as it remains committed to keeping up the fight against terrorism and preserving the unity of the Middle Eastern country.
Assad, for his part, appreciated Russia's efforts to end the war in Syria despite pressures by some countries to discourage Moscow from continuing to adhere to international law and respect the sovereignty of states.
He also expressed Syria's determination to fight terrorism and activate the political track to resolve the conflict gripping the country.
Syrian army withdraws from war-torn Aleppo
Additionally on Wednesday, the Syrian military pulled back in Aleppo in a bid to allow Takfiri militants to leave the war-stricken city through two designated corridors.
In a statement carried by state television and news agencies, Syria's Foreign Ministry announced that the army was observing temporary ceasefires in Aleppo to ease the humanitarian situation there.
"The government will use all means to stabilize the situation in Aleppo and transfer civilians without restrictions and bring in humanitarian aid," the statement read.
Meanwhile, the Russian military, which is supporting the Syrian army in its anti-terror fight in Aleppo, said that Russian and Syrian jets were still observing a halt to airstrikes in Aleppo, which took effect on Tuesday.
Syrian army makes gains in NE Aleppo
In another development on Wednesday, Syrian army officials announced that government forces managed to retake Babdin Square in northeastern Aleppo after killing several militants in clashes there.
A newly released footage shows fierce battles in Aleppo's northeast as the Syrian forces continue to target militant-held areas.
Russian, Syrian planes stay away from Aleppo
Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi, a senior Russian military official, said that Russian and Syrian warplanes kept at least 10 kilometers away from the city.
The remarks came ahead of an 11-hour "humanitarian pause" in the battered city scheduled for Thursday.
Elsewhere in his comments, Rudskoi stressed that the break in hostilities in Aleppo should allow both civilians and militants safe exit out of the city.
He further noted that two of eight humanitarian corridors out of Aleppo were reserved for militants, with one leading to Turkey and the other to Idlib province.
EU not credible to talk about Aleppo situation
On Monday, European Union foreign ministers hit out at the Russian and Syrian anti-terror campaign in Aleppo, claiming that their strikes "may amount to war crimes" and should be referred to the International Criminal Court.
In a statement released following a meeting in Luxembourg, the 28 ministers vowed to impose more sanctions on the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
In response, Syrian state media quoted an unnamed official source at the Foreign Ministry as saying that the EU is not credible to speak about the conflict in Syria.
"The European Union lacks the lowest degree of credibility when it talks about the humanitarian situation in Syria, because it is, through its support of terrorism, an accomplice in the suffering of Syrians," the official said.
He also called on the EU to avoid portraying itself as a defender of terrorist groups and shedding crocodile tears over the suffering of civilians in Aleppo at a time when the Syrian army and its allies are working to protect civilians and restore stability to the city.
Aleppo, Syria's second largest city, remains divided between government forces in the west and foreign-backed terrorists in the east, making it a frontline battleground.
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