The Russian government has upgraded the status of the Syrian conflict, adding the country to the list of nations “in the state of emergency or military conflict,” in line with a decree issued by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Previously, Syria was listed as a country with a “complicated social and political situation.”
The decree, dated July 26, was published on the online federal legal database on Tuesday. The document introduces amendments to guarantees provided to Russian diplomats abroad.
Besides Syria, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Sri Lanka have also been removed from the list of countries with “complicated social and political situation,” while India and Kenya have been added.
The decree comes as Syrian troops have continued a major offensive against rebels in Aleppo, a northern commercial hub, on Tuesday. Syrian state TV reports that government troops have been gaining ground in several Aleppo neighborhoods, a claim dismissed by rebel forces.
Some observers view the battle for Aleppo as a major watershed in the Syrian conflict which could decide the future of the armed uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
The 17-month old conflict has already left between 14,000 and 17,000 people dead, according to estimates by Syrian activists. International diplomatic efforts have failed to force the conflicting sides to stop the bloodshed and begin talks.