October 18, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
RusVesna – translated by J. Arnoldski –
[ Editor’s note: Implicit here is that Russia is playing a little public relations game – those willing to leave are ‘moderate’, as in moderately not suicidal, and those who stay are ‘hardline jihadis’, by definition, since their end is certain once bombing resumes. Of course Russia long ago called the bluff, reiterated recently and admitted by the US in the now leaked details of the September ceasefire agreement, that there are no ‘moderate opposition’ – the US was never able to ‘separate these’ in reality. It’s a great strategy to eliminate those not willing to retreat – it’s better to have to later face those willing to retreat than those not willing to retreat. So Russia is doing a little ‘separating’ of its own. – JF ]
Sergey Lavrov has called Russia and Syria’s suspension of airstrikes against militants in Aleppo a gesture of good will. Airstrikes are being suspended two days ahead of the start of the “humanitarian pause” in the area on October 20th.
As the Russian foreign minister stated, this is being done in order to help the “moderate opposition” disassociate from militants of the Jebat Al-Nusra terrorist organization.
“The suspension of the Russian air force and Syrian government’s air operations has already entered into force. This is a gesture of good will in the hope that this pause, which has been declared, will be used to finally separate Jebat Al-Nusra from the likes of those armed formations that are being supported, equipped, and armed by the US and a number of European countries and countries in the region,” Lavrov said.
Earlier, the 8-hour humanitarian pause set to begin at 10:00 on October 20th was announced by Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin.
The suspension of Russian and Syrian airstrikes two days ahead of this, since 10:00 on Tuesday, October 18th, was announced today by Russian defense minister Sergey Shoigu. Shogiu proposed that the leaderships of those countries “who can influence armed groups in the eastern part of Aleppo to convince these groups’ leaders to cease hostilities and leave the city.”