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Russia Proposes Creation of Int'l Commission on Syria's Raqqa - Minister

Sputnik News

16:51 26.02.2018(updated 17:41 26.02.2018)

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu commented on the situation in Syria after the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution on Syria that stipulates introduction of a 30-day halt in fighting in the country.

International Humanitarian Commission on Situation in Syria's Raqqa

Russia is proposing the creation of a commission under the auspices of the UN humanitarian assessment in the Syrian city of Raqqa, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

"That is why we propose to create as quickly as possible on the basis of the United Nations and under its leadership, an international assessment humanitarian commission that could look at and assess what is really happening in Raqqa, where, unfortunately, no one is allowed to – neither the media, nor the humanitarian organizations," Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting of the board of the Russian Defense Ministry.

He noted that, according to the Russian military department, there was a "severe epidemiological situation" in Raqqa.

In December 2017, the Syrian Democratic Forces, with the support of the US-led coalition, started operations to liberate Raqqa. In October 2017, the Syrian Democratic Forces announced the city had been completely liberated.

The Daesh terrorist group seized Raqqa in 2013 and declared the city as its capital in Syria the following year.

Humanitarian Pause in East Ghouta

A daily humanitarian pause will be introduced in Syria's Eastern Ghouta on the order of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a humanitarian corridor will be established soon, Sergei Shoigu said Monday.

"A humanitarian corridor will be opened to evacuate civilians. Location will be prepared and announced shortly," he added.

Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with the members of Russia's Security Council to discuss the situation in Syria's Eastern Ghouta and the ongoing provocations by terrorists in Syria. The horrible humanitarian situation in that area had been addressed by the Russian president in a phone call with his counterparts from France and Germany.

On Saturday, the UN Security Council

adopted resolution 2401 that urges all parties to the conflict to immediately stop all clashes and obey to a long-term humanitarian pause on the entire territory of Syria. The resolution underlined that the ceasefire regime does not apply to military operations against the Daesh, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

Humanitarian Corridors in Syria's At-Tanf Area

Russia proposes to establish humanitarian corridors in Syria's At-Tanf area where the Rukban refugee camp is located, Shoigu said.

"We propose to establish similar humanitarian corridors, humanitarian pauses in the At-Tanf and Rukban, so that the civilians can freely return to their homes and begin to restore peaceful life," Shoigu said.

Al-Rukban refugee camp is situated in Syria's Homs province around 11 miles south of the at-Tanf settlement and inside the US-controlled zone of the Syrian-Jordanian border. In November, the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria accused the United States of creating a training camp near al-Rukban refugee camp to forge a new "moderate opposition" out of various militia groups.


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