Zarif, Muallem Talk about Aleppo Situation, Civilians’ Safe Exit
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem in a telephone conversation on Wednesday discussed the latest situation in the city of Aleppo, including the safe exit of civilians from the battle zones as well as the need for dispatching humanitarian aid to the war-stricken city.
During the phone talk, the Syrian foreign minister explained the Aleppo situation, and reiterated the Syrian government's commitment to provide safe passage for the civilians and help the affected people in all districts of Aleppo city; FNA reported.
Zarif, for his part, underlined that the people in Aleppo city need emergency aids and should be safely directed to leave the city and go to a safer place.
The Iranian foreign minister also in similar phone calls to his Russian and Turkish counterparts Sergei Lavrov and Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier today discussed the latest situation in Aleppo and the violation of the ceasefire by the terrorists in the Northern Syrian city.
During the phone conversation with Lavrov, Zarif discussed the latest situation in Aleppo city, the breach of the ceasefire by the militants in Aleppo city and also the violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by the US.
During the telephone conversation with Cavusoglu, the Iranian foreign minister and his Turkish counterpart also exchanged views on the latest situation in Syria, including Aleppo, and the humanitarian aid to the Syrian civilians.
Earlier on Wednesday, Cavusoglu said that he would hold talks on the situation in Aleppo city with Zarif and Lavrov later in the day.
"Yesterday I talked to Lavrov, today I will talk to him again as well as with the Iranian foreign minister. We expect the yesterday agreement to be implemented," Cavusoglu said.
"Yesterday an agreement on the ceasefire and deliveries of humanitarian aid was reached There is readiness for the truce but there are still some ceasefire violations in various places People continue to die that is why an urgent evacuation is needed."
Over the recent months, Aleppo became a major battleground in Syria between government forces and militants.
On Tuesday, the Russian reconciliation center said that the Syrian army was controlling over 98 percent of the territory of the embattled city, with militants present in less than 3 square kilometers (1.1 square mile).
Earlier on Wednesday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said that the militant groups have killed some 30,000 civilians in areas in the Western countryside of Aleppo city, and rejected western media reports that the army has carried out executions in Eastern Aleppo after the Tuesday night ceasefire.
"Some 30,000 civilians who lived in the western countryside of Aleppo have been massacred by these criminal groups," Muallem said.
He further rejected reports about mass executions in Eastern Aleppo by the army, and said such reports are fabricated to leave a negative impact on the army victory in the highly important city.
"Terrorists' sponsors and supporters are so worried about their defeat and relocation from Aleppo that they have not slept last night," the Syrian foreign minister added.
He also strongly lashed out at the former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, for making unreal statements about the death of a number of civilians during their exit from Aleppo recently.
Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin had told the UN Security Council meeting in New York on Tuesday that the fighting in Eastern Aleppo stopped and the Syrian government regained control over the territory after the withdrawal of militants from the city was agreed.
But, terrorists resumed fire Wednesday morning and pushed the deal into complete failure.
Following the attacks, evacuation of the last group of militants from the Eastern part of the Syrian city of Aleppo delayed, if not cancelled at all.
"Everything has been ready for the withdrawal (of militants from Aleppo) since the night fell," RIA Novosti quoted a sources as saying, adding "It was expected that the withdrawal would start early in the morning, but it has not started yet".
Another news website reported that Fatah al-Sham Front (previously known as the al-Nusra Front) is disturbing the exit trend of the militants from Aleppo city.
The Syrian Army troops and popular forces restarted their attacks on Jeish al-Fatah's positions in the Eastern districts of Aleppo city after the militants breached the truce.
Militants in Aleppo violated the agreement on leaving the city and used the ceasefire to regroup and begin hostilities again, the Russian Peace Coordination Center in Syria said in a statement on Wednesday.
The center added that it had prepared means for evacuation of militants to Idlib, in accordance with the deal reached by the Syrian authorities and the militants.
"When the transport arrived at the previously agreed loading place, the militants began shelling the convoy. Having used the ceasefire, the militants regrouped at dawn and renewed hostilities, trying to break through the positions of the Syrian army in the Northwestern direction," the statement read.
According to the statement, the army repelled the attack and continued the operation to liberate Eastern Aleppo.
Media reports say the buses that have gone to Aleppo to take militants and civilians out of the city returned to depots.
Source: Al Alam