Putin to Macron, Merkel: Syrian Truce Doesn’t Apply to Anti-Terror Ops

In the wake of the adoption of a UN resolution establishing a 30-day truce throughout Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the state of affairs in Syria’s East Ghouta region with France’s President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the humanitarian situation in the region has recently rapidly deteriorated.

During the phone conversation between the leaders, the situation in East Ghouta and problems of providing humanitarian access to this and other regions of Syria were discussed, according to the Kremlin’s press service.

“Special attention was given to the fact that the cessation of military activity does not apply to the operations against terrorist groups,” the Kremlin said.

The sides also commended the results of “joint, constructive work,” that allowed the adoption of the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2401 on February 24, while the leaders also “noted the importance of continuing joint efforts to achieve the full and speedy implementation of the resolution’s provisions,” according to the statement.

Germany and France are still ready to cooperate with Russia and other international partners for this purpose,” the press release read.

Putin has informed the foreign leaders of the steps that Russia is taking in Syria to evacuate civilians, deliver aid supplies and provide medical help to the injured.

“An agreement has been reached on the invigoration of information exchange on the situation in Syria through various channels,” the Kremlin’s statement read.

Earlier in the day, Iran echoed Russia’s stance and supported the provision of the resolution, which says that the truce in Syria does not cover terrorists in Eastern Ghouta, adding that militants would continue to be targeted by the Syrian army.

The telephone conversation comes after February 24, when the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution introducing a 30-day truce on the whole Syrian territory to ensure the safely of humanitarian aid and the medical evacuation of those injured. However, the ceasefire regime does not cover military operations against Daesh, al-Qaeda, and Jabhat Fatah al Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front) terrorist groups.

The humanitarian situation in the suburb east of the Syrian capital, has drastically deteriorated since February 18, when Syrian government forces launched an operation codenamed “Damascus Steel,” in a bid to clear the region of militants. According to the Russian military, the terrorist groups in the region are purposely struggling to escalate the situation in East Ghouta, preventing civilians from leaving the area and provoking retaliatory fights against the Syrian government.




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