Russia: Kremlin waiting for US and European response to Belgian airstrikes in Aleppo

Moscow, SANA – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin is awaiting for the US and Europe to respond to the airstrikes carried out by Belgian aircrafts from the Washington-led “international coalition” which were carried out last night on Hassadjek village in Aleppo countryside, resulting in killing six people and injuring others.

Peskov told journalists on Wednesday that the Kremlin is interested in the reactions of Washington and Europe to this issue and is waiting for a suitable response from the coalition and from all international organizations that were so worried and concerned about Russian airstrikes in Aleppo and civilians there.
In the same context, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that if no condemnation of the crime committed by Belgian aircrafts is issued, then that act will be considered an attempt to help terrorists in Syria and keep them there, reiterating that Russia is waiting for an appropriate response from the coalition, Belgian, and international organizations.

Zakharova also stressed that it’s unacceptable to accept the humanitarian pause announced by Russia in Aleppo for other purposes, stressing that all the previous propaganda about Aleppo was never about civilians in the city but rather about protecting Jabhat al-Nusra and preventing the Russian Aerospace Forces from eliminating terrorists in Aleppo.

Regarding the issue of separating the so-called “moderate opposition” from terrorists in Aleppo, she said that this should begin immediately and there’s no reason for not doing so, adding that the cessation of operations by Russian and Syrian air forces is linked to the promises made by the US to separate terrorists from the “moderate opposition” as the Americans had always claimed that this separation cannot be done without a cessation of combat activities, and now this condition made by the American has been fulfilled.

In response to UN claims about obstacles hindering delivering humanitarian aid to Aleppo, Zakharova said that Moscow doesn’t understand why the UN representatives can’t deliver aid after the Russian and Syrian air forces stopped airstrikes in the city.

On a relevant note, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov ruled out the possibility of Russia and the Syrian government extending the humanitarian pause in Aleppo from one side, noting that Russia had often warned that armed groups exploit such pauses to redeploy their forces and acquire more munitions and weapons.

Ryabkov said that Russia is aware of the attempts of those who manipulate humanitarian issues in Aleppo to put Moscow and Damascus in the position of giving justifications, wondering why this should be the case when Washington has failed to isolate al-Nusra from “moderate opposition.”

He went on to stress that a one-sided extension of the pause equals backing down, which Russia will not do, adding that there are currently no plans to hold a new meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US State Secretary John Kerry.

Hazem Sabbagh

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