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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

West failure to rein in extremists caused indefinite delay in Syria talks: Russia

Iran Press TV

Tue Nov 1, 2016 10:40AM

Russia says the West has failed to contain the extremist militants it supports in Syria and has caused an "indefinite delay" in peace talks for the Arab country.

Speaking on Wednesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the West had failed to exercise influence on the extremist militants in Syria.

"As a result, the prospects for the start of a negotiation process and the return to peaceful life in Syria are postponed for an indefinite period," he said.

The remarks came one day after Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations (UN)'s special envoy for Syria, said the militants had intentionally killed scores of civilians in the west of the embattled northwestern Syria city of Aleppo over the previous 48 hours.

He said he had been "appalled and shocked" by the "relentless and indiscriminate" rocket attacks that killed the civilians and warned that such attacks could amount to war crimes.

The fatalities were caused after a mix of militants, including the Takfiri Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, and Ahrar al-Sham, another extremist outfit, launched what they called a "big battle" on Friday to break an army siege over the strategic city.

Russia has been bombarding militant positions in Syria on a request from Damascus since September 2015.

Russia ceased airstrikes on the city on October 18. Russian President Vladimir Putin turned down a subsequent request by the Russian military to resume the attacks, saying he wanted humanitarian efforts to continue in northwestern Aleppo and the US to separate the so-called "moderate" militants from other terrorists there.

Washington has for long been supporting militants it calls "moderate." Moscow says there are no such militants in Syria, and all militants are committing savage acts of terror in the country.

The US has been pounding targets it claims to belong to the Takfiri terror group of Daesh in the Arab country since 2014 without permission from the Syrian government.

Washington has been campaigning strongly against the Russian aerial campaign, saying it may hit the "moderates." The US, however, refuses to designate specifically what groups it deems "moderate," even as Russia has voiced readiness for potential cooperation in that regard.

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