10:06 GMT +312 December 2019
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    Old city of Aleppo

    'They Want to Take Aleppo': What’s Behind Syrian Rebels' Attacks During Truce

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    Shelling of residential areas and Syrian Army positions by militants is intensifying, spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

    "We still don’t have contacts with representatives of the moderate opposition for the ceasefire. We have asked the United States to give us contacts of moderate opposition groups or pressure them, but there is still no result. Moreover, shelling of residential areas and positions of the Syrian Army by militants is intensifying," Konashenkov said.

    According to him, the most complicated situation is now in Aleppo.

    "Militants are using the ceasefire and the fact that the army is not responding to shelling. In areas they control militants move personnel and equipment at daytime and nighttime," he added.

    Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the US failed to fulfill obligations of the deal.

    The United States didn't reply to any of our appeals containing information on ceasefire violations by US-controlled armed groups. Moreover, the US side declines telephone conversations, including those planned in advance, as it happened yesterday," Lt. Gen. Vladimir Savchenko, the chief of the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria, said during a videoconference.

    Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir, the first deputy chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, added that the number of ceasefire violations by Syrian rebel groups had been steadily on the rise since the truce came into force last Monday.

    The moderate opposition groups are using the truce to reinforce and regroup on the battlefield, former Pentagon official Michael Maloof said.

    "I think what’s happening on the ground is that the so-called moderates that the US supports are vying for more positions of strength. They are using the lull and the ceasefire to regain battlefield positioning. They want to take Aleppo. This is going to continue on. This has been spurred from the outside," Maloof told RT.

    He added that there are some foreign players that continue to fuel the conflict because they want Syrian President Bashar Assad gone.

    Maloof also pointed out that there are two serious problems with attacking terrorists. First, it is very difficult to separate the so-called moderates from al-Nusra Front. Second, Washington does not have leverage over the moderate forces.

    He also said that Washington should provide all necessary information to Russia as well as declassify the US-Russian agreement on Syria.


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    ceasefire, terrorism, military conflict, Syrian Arab Army, Al-Nusra Front, Russian Defense Ministry, Syria, United States, Russia
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