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Russian General Staff Says Aleppo Liberation Operation Is Over

Dec. 17, 2016 (EIRNS)—The operation to liberate Aleppo has been completed, according to the Russian General Staff’s main operations directorate, Lt. Gen. Sergey Rudskoy. "The operation to clear Aleppo of terrorists is over. Government troops are wiping out scattered groups of radicals who have refused to leave the city," he said.

Rudskoy noted that the United States repeatedly promised to separate the so-called "moderate opposition" from terrorists, "but the U.S. invariably refused to do that on various excuses."

"Russia then proposed joint measures for removing Jabhat al-Nusra from eastern Aleppo. The U.S. refused to support that idea, either. Now we’ve done that on our own,"

Rudskoy said.

"During the liberation of Aleppo’s eastern quarters, as many as 3,406 gunmen of the moderate opposition stopped resistance and laid down arms. As many as 3,056 of them have been amnestied, the rest are being checked,"

he said. According to Rudskoy, the overall strength of radical groups in the city exceeded 4,500 men.

"Most of them were evacuated from the city throughout the previous day. This way the moderate opposition was separated from terrorists,"

he noted.

Rudskoy noted that more than 108,000 civilians were evacuated from the eastern sector of the city, while more than 7,000 civilians have already returned to their homes. Only Russia and Syria are providing food and shelter for these refugees.

The conditions are now available for a peace settlement of the conflict in Syria, Rudskoy said, echoing Russian President Putin’s remarks to that effect.

"We believe that with the pullout of armed groups from Aleppo and the completion of the operation to retake the city, all conditions have been created for a peace settlement in Syria,"

Rudskoy said.

"At present, Russian combat engineers are conducting mine-clearing work on the territory liberated from militants. The city’s administration is carrying out restoration works. Electricity and water supplies have already been resumed in some districts,"

the Russian general said.

"Syrian troops discovered several warehouses in the liberated sections of Aleppo and they contained food supplied from abroad," Rudskoy said.

"The products were intended for terrorists and members of their families, while the rest of Aleppo residents suffered from malnourishment."

"It seems that the Western countries and international humanitarian organizations are not in a hurry to start delivering aid to Aleppo since there are no more of their prime recipients, namely militants, and the peaceful citizens are not of interest for them,"

Rudskoy stressed.

"We have repeatedly heard pledges from the West and various international organizations to immediately organize the deliveries of food and essential items to residents of Aleppo,"

Rudskoy said.

"However, none of the countries and international organizations are providing such assistance to them.

"They can express their concerns over the fates of Aleppo residents as much as possible either from Geneva or New York, but at the same time they can be doing nothing to help them,"

he said.

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