03:15 GMT21 April 2021
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    The recent headway Moscow and Damascus have made in liberating Aleppo have incited Washington to snatch the initiative from Russia, political analyst Vladimir Ardayev of the International Information Agency Rossiya Segodnya quoted experts as saying.

    In his article, "Washington is alarmed about the success of Moscow and Damascus in Aleppo," political analyst Vladimir Ardayev of the International Information Agency Rossiya Segodnya quoted experts as saying that US President Barack Obama could make very serious mistakes if it attempts to steal the initiative from Russia.

    Earlier, Sergey Rudskoy, chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate, said that the Syrian Army currently controls 93 percent of the territory of the city of Aleppo.

    Rudskoy said that "as a result of a successful advance, 52 districts in eastern Aleppo have been freed from jihadists, and over the past 4 days, territory controlled by militants has been decreased by one third."

    A Russian soldier walks to a military vehicle in goverment controlled Hanono housing district in Aleppo, Syria December 4, 2016
    © REUTERS / Omar Sanadiki
    A Russian soldier walks to a military vehicle in goverment controlled Hanono housing district in Aleppo, Syria December 4, 2016

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, for his part, said that the Syrian Army had suspended combat operations in Aleppo "because the largest operation of evacuation of civilians from eastern Aleppo is being carried out."

    He added that Russia intends to "fight terrorists in Syria till the end" in accordance with a UN Security Council resolution.

    "An operation of the Syrian and Russian military in Aleppo is unprecedented, not only in term of its tactical successes, but also due to the fact that the troops' activity are beyond the scope of previously conducted operations of this kind," according to the Russian military expert Anatoly Tsyganok.

    He praised Syrian and Russian military for "not only fighting" but also contributing to the resolution of a whole array of tasks related to supplying humanitarian assistance to Aleppo's citizens and their evacuation.

    Meanwhile, Dmitry Abzalov, head of the Center for Strategic Communications, a Moscow-based think tank, believes that "US President Barack Obama seeks to at least partially snatch Russia's initiative in Syria because he fears that Washington may not be engaged in the negotiating process."

    He said that the final liberation of Aleppo may take place in about a week, in what will be followed by large-scale negotiations.

    On the other hand, he added, in order "to step up military action in Raqqa, Daesh's largest stronghold in Syria, the US plans to arm the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which mainly include Kurdish fighters."

    "The SDF's operation, backed by the US-led coalition forces, is aimed at liberating Raqqa. Unlike in Aleppo, there hasn't been a breakthrough so far in Raqqa or Mosul in Iraq, where an anti-Daesh operation has been in place since October 17. So Washington is seriously concerned that during the upcoming peace talks, it is Moscow which will play the role of a chief mediator," Abzalov said.

    Anatoly Tsyganok, for his part, said that President Obama is now continuing his policy, which is aimed at overthrowing the current Syrian regime.

    In this regard, he warned of serious consequences of Obama's recent decision to lift formal restrictions on arms supplies to US allies in the fight against terrorism in Syria, considered by Washington as one of the countries that sponsor terrorism.

    He was echoed by other experts, who said that "removing the formal restrictions on the supply of arms to the Syrian opposition is very dangerous idea, because the situation in Syria is extremely complicated and complex, and any kind of arms, including man-portable air defense systems, can get into hands of both moderate opposition and radicals."

    Meanwhile, the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation has said that more than 13,000 civilians have been evacuated from militant-controlled regions of Aleppo in the past 24 hours.

    "13,346 civilians, including 5,831 children, were evacuated over the past 24 hours with support of the Russian Reconciliation Center from regions of Aleppo which remain under militant control," the center said in a statement.

    According to the statement, 728 militants have surrendered and left eastern Aleppo.

    The Russian servicemen have also de-mined 7 hectares (17.3 acres) of the territory of eastern Aleppo, including a mosque, a school, a primary school and roads.


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    citizen, consequences, evacuation, terrorism, operation, arms, opposition, Barack Obama, Syria, US, Russia, Aleppo
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