Russian and Syrian military aircraft have not conducted any missions in Aleppo for 13 days, but the situation in the embattled Syrian city has not improved, with radical groups shelling residential areas and preventing civilians from leaving, defense analyst Igor Korotchenko told Radio Sputnik, adding that such pauses help terrorists “to regroup.”
Korotchenko maintained that such pauses are “harmful” since radical groups could well use them to “regroup,” resupply and redeploy reinforcements. “A decisive offensive is the only way to destroy terrorists,” he emphasized.
This is not an isolated incident. Similar attacks have taken place on a regular basis. Meanwhile, Russia has made every effort to deliver humanitarian aid to the city. On Friday alone, Russian forces delivered 400 kg of aid to university and police hospitals.
“We have really hoped that our American partners would use the humanitarian pause and the absence of air strikes to finally convince the ‘moderate opposition’ to dissociate themselves from [al-Nusra Front], which, in fact, rules the roost in eastern Aleppo and issues orders to all other armed opposition groups located there,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on October 28. “Unfortunately, once again, they failed to draw such a line,” he continued. “Clearly, terrorists have cut off humanitarian corridors created specifically for civilians. Instead of letting civilians leave the city, these corridors now come under targeted fire from the militants.” Lavrov further said that Washington’s calls for a ceasefire in Syria have only been “designed to gain time and give the extremists a respite. Needless to say, they are taking advantage of that.” On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin declined the Russian General Staff’s request to renew airstrikes on militant positions in eastern Aleppo in Syria to enable Washington to fulfill its promise and commitment to separate the so-called moderate opposition from terrorist groups and contribute to the evacuation from the city. However, “Russia reserves the right to use all means it has to provide support to the armed forces of the Syrian Arab Republic when it is absolutely necessary to prevent provocative acts by terrorist groups,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.