Russia warns US not to attack Syrian forces
Moscow, Oct 2 (IANS) Russia has warned the US on Saturday against carrying out attacks on Syrian forces and said it would have repercussions across the country and the Middle East region.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that if the US launches a direct aggression against Damascus and the Syrian army, it will lead to terrible, tectonic shifts not only on the territory of this country but also in the region in general, Sputnik News reported on Saturday.
“A direct US aggression against the Damascus authorities and the Syrian army will lead to ‘tectonic shifts’ and ‘power vacuum’ in the entire Middle East region,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quoted as saying.
“My task is to explain why it is so important to remain in line with agreements,” Zakharova said during a talk show.
A regime change would lead to the power vacuum in Syria, which would be filled not with the so-called moderate opposition but rather with “terrorists of all sorts,” she added.
The US was on Friday on the verge of ending its Syria discussions with Russia over continued bombings in Aleppo city, in which at least 400 persons were killed in the last eight days.
The US and Russia have been trying to negotiate a ceasefire in the war-torn nation, but Secretary of State John Kerry said “the bombing of Aleppo right now is inexcusable”, NBC news reported.
“I think we are on the verge of suspending the discussion because it’s irrational in the context of the type of bombing taking place,” Kerry said at an event in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
Kerry on September 9 announced that the US and Russia had reached a ceasefire agreement that could lead to joint military coordination between the two nations against terror groups like the Islamic State (IS) if the cease-fire held for seven days.
Under the agreement, Russia was to ensure the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad stuck to the ceasefire, Kerry said at the time. But the ceasefire had been repeatedly breached, and Syria’s military had launched a massive new offensive to take back control of rebel areas.
On Wednesday, two hospitals in rebel-held Aleppo were hit by airstrikes, killing at least two persons and had affected medical services in the area, medical officials said.
Kerry in a phone call to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that the US needed to see “immediate steps to end the assault on Aleppo” or the US would start “making preparations to suspend the US/Russia bilateral engagement on Syria”, State Department spokesperson John Kirby said.
Lavrov said the US needed to fulfil its role under the deal of ensuring moderate opposition groups stick to the ceasefire, NBC reported.
Warring factions have been targeting targeting Syria’s depleted health care sector and have resulted in the deaths of at least 52 people, including nine health workers and eight children.
The WHO called upon those responsible to stop the violence, end attacks on health care, let the sick and wounded out, while allowing much-needed humanitarian aid to reach those in need.