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    Opposition fighters belonging to Jaish al-Islam (Islam Army), the foremost rebel group in Damascus province who fiercely oppose to both the regime and the Islamic State group, check their ammunition belts in Tal al-Aswan in the area of the eastern Ghouta rebel bastion east of the Syrian capital, Damascus, during clashes with government forces on February 9, 2016.

    Russian DM Shoigu Urges West to Separate Syrian Opposition From Terrorists

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    Western countries should separate Syrian terrorists from the moderate opposition and stop providing aid "across the board," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday.

    KUBINKA (Moscow Region), (Sputnik) — Speaking at the talks with his Lebanese counterpart Yaacoub Sarraf, the Russian defense minister stressed that the movement of terrorists from one country to another "cannot continue indefinitely."

    "I would like our Western partners… finally to separate the moderate opposition from terrorists and stop rendering assistance across the board," Shoigu said.

    He named Syria as an example where the enactment of de-escalation zones and terrorist-moderate opposition delineation have helped put an end to civil war and focus efforts on combating terrorism.

    The West's long-standing support for so-called moderate rebels used to result in the weaponry ending up in the hands of terrorists, who sought to hamper peace efforts.

    In order to stop the brutal civil war in Syria, the de-escalation zones were established with the participation of the three guarantor states, including Russia, Turkey and Iran. The de-escalation zones have been established for six months with the option of extending them automatically for another six months.

    As of today, the guarantor states have managed to reach agreements with opposition groups on creating three zones of which the third one was agreed upon in late July. The consultations on the fourth safe zone in the Idlib province are ongoing.


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    terrorists, safe zones, de-escalation, opposition, Sergei Shoigu, Syria, Russia
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