02:30 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

    Italian FM Calls Damascus Operation in Syrian Aleppo 'Unacceptable'

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    Middle East
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    Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni called on Tuesday the Syrian army's operation in Aleppo "unacceptable" and accused Russia of conniving with this offensive.

    ROME (Sputnik) — Northern Syrian city of Aleppo has been a battlefield between government forces, jihadists, as well as numerous oppositions groups. Fighting in Aleppo has escalated over the past few weeks, with the Syrian army and local militia forces having managed to encircle large groups of militants in eastern districts of the city. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) over 340 people have died and some 1,000 have been injured in Aleppo over the last ten days.

    "The operation in Aleppo is unacceptable and the fact that Russia connives with this action is unacceptable. Italy proposed a seven-day truce under the condition of the Russia-US commitment to keep [Bashar Assad]'s air forces on the ground…Though, this agreement has not been reached, because Russia insisted that it was, first of all, necessary to separate the insurgents from the Nusra Front militants," Gentiloni said at a meeting with Italian lawmakers.

    Gentiloni said that the Syrian crisis could be only settled by means diplomatic and political efforts.

    The Syrian army launched an offensive in the city of Aleppo after declaring an end to the ceasefire in late September following the US airstrike on a Syrian Army position on September 17 that killed some 60 people.

    In September, Gentiloni offered Moscow to "prove" it really wants to put pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad for the political settlement of the crisis in the Arab republic.

    On Monday, the US Department of State suspended bilateral channels with Russia to sustain a ceasefire in Syria, citing violations in Aleppo.


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