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Translated by Ollie Richardson

17:35:09
08/08/2016

KP

The Russian Defence Minister delivered an ultimatum to ISIS and “Jabhat al-Nusra” militants, who are surrounded near the city of Aleppo in Syria. They must either surrender, or leave.

The decision was not made on a whim: the terrorists seem to have regarded the repeated calls for reconciliation as a weakness, and only intensified their activities in Aleppo. In just 2 weeks they committed 8 terrorist attacks using 3 infantry fighting vehicles and 12 car bombs on the positions of the Syrian Army . These attacks killed more than 500 people, and about 2,000 were injured.

“As a result, Aleppo and its suburbs are facing a critical humanitarian situation, ” concluded Shoigu.

The day before the Syrian Army completely closed the ring around the terrorists, who have entrenched themselves in Aleppo. This city was, until recently, the largest in Syria in terms of population and economic potential. Therefore, the defeat of terrorists in Aleppo can be a very significant victory for Syria. No less than the liberation of Palmyra.

However, the militants were given one last chance. In fact, Shoigu announced the beginning of large-scale humanitarian operations. For all those who wish to leave the surrounded city, 3 humanitarian corridors were opened. The fourth:

“Given the fact that our American partners have not provided us with information on the division of “Jabhat al-Nusra” and units of the Free Syrian Army (the so-called “moderate opposition”, supported by the US), a fourth corridor for the safe exit of militants with weapons was created in North Aleppo,” said Shoigu.

“We still are hopeful that we will receive from our American colleagues the coordinates of areas where formations of the Free Syrian Army are. I would also like to understand the appearance of “moderate opposition” groups, and how many tanks, MLRS, artillery such groups have… The residents of Aleppo will be informed about the exit routes by SMS, leaflets, and loudspeakers. But for people who are trapped, products and medicines will be dropped from the air.”

In addition, in order to avoid needless casualties, Shoigu asked the Syrian leadership to offer amnesty for militants, but only to those who have not stained themselves with bloody crimes.

Simultaneously, Russia called for cooperation with the Western coalition:

“If we don’t want a repeat of the Iraqi, Libyan or Afghan scenario, the consequences of which the world has been “disentangling” itself from for years, we suggest our partners unite together, ” said Shoigu. “The Defense Ministry of Russia is ready for such work without preconditions.”

MEANWHILE

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has responded to the appear from Russia and signed a decree of amnesty to militants who lay down their arms. But the amnesty will apply only to citizens of Syria.

OUR COMMENT

Victor Baranets – military observer for “KP”

To understand what is happening now in Aleppo and around it, as well as the plan of operations voiced by Sergei Shoigu, the main thing you need to know: almost 10,000 militants who were surrounded are trying to “dissolve” among civilians in a 2-million city. From time to time they do terrorist attacks, sabotage, but then hide behind Aleppo’s civilians. They are extremely difficult to flush out from the city with artillery, tanks or air strikes, so large civilian casualties are inevitable.

The plan of operation proposed by Shoigu, is, in fact, a giant seperator to save Aleppo from death and destruction, and to divide the terrorists from the civilian population. It gives a moment for the militants to think, and “to stick the bayonet in the ground” and return to civilian life. And it is quite “frostbitten” to leave the city with arms. But will they use this opportunity? If city residents temporarily leave the city, and the terrorists will remain in it, it is clear that the Syrian infantry and special forces will flush them out of Aleppo. Or will destroy them.

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