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Iran Press TV

Russia Aleppo operations separated so-called moderates from terrorists

Iran Press TV

Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:36PM

Russian operations in Syria's Aleppo allowed for the "genuine" separation of the so-called moderate opposition and terrorists, says Russia's Defense Ministry.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov made the remarks on Saturday while noting that operations by the Russian Reconciliation Center [in Syria] to grant militants safe passage from east Aleppo had saved some 10,000 Syrian lives.

He stressed that Russia was able to accomplish "what for a year our American partners considered to be impossible to implement in practice."

Moscow has long insisted that the so-called moderate opposition groups in Syria should leave the areas held by terrorists, which are targeted in the Russian air campaign.

On December 16, Russia announced that the Syrian military was in full control of the militant-held eastern Aleppo.

Konashenkov noted that Aleppo's liberation opened a new "window of opportunity…not only in the Aleppo province," but across the whole country for introducing ceasefires.

He further stressed that "a desire to negotiate with all parties to the conflict directly on the ground, except for terrorist groups" is a major component towards bringing peace to all of the war-torn country.

"The sooner it is realized in Paris, London, and Washington, which are so far not even capable of sending humanitarian aid to Syria, the sooner there will be peace," said Konashenkov.

Since March 2011, Syria has been hit by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies. The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the UN have put the death toll from the Syria conflict at more than 300,000 and 400,000, respectively. This is while the UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.

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