Russian Air Forces have started preparing of ‘massive’ air strikes on Syrian terrorists the Al-Nusra as from tomorrow.
Al-Nusra Front has gathered a force of some 6,000 fighters in preparation for a major offensive in Syria’s Aleppo province, as terrorists and their allies continue to disrupt the fragile US-Russian brokered ceasefire, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The ceasefire introduced on February 27 does not apply to internationally-recognized terror groups such as DAESH (IS) and Al-Nusra Front, which means strikes can be delivered against their outposts. According to the Center, Al-Nusra is continuing to attack Aleppo using rocket launchers and mortars.
The Russian Reconciliation Center proposed the introduction of a 72-hour cease-fire starting Tuesday in areas of Eastern Ghouta and Darayya. At the same time the Russian side called on Washington to use their influence on groups often associated with Al-Nusra to flee the area and join the truce, stressing that Russian aircraft will continue to conduct strikes.
Russia killed 28,000 terrorists in Syria
Since Moscow started its air operation in Syria on September 30 last year, the Russian Air Force has eliminated over a third of DAESH fighters in the country, the deputy head of Russia’s top security body revealed.
“We estimate that at the beginning of our operation Al-Nusra Front and DAESH [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] possessed about 80,000 fighters, of whom 28,000 (35 percent) have already been eliminated. This is [the result of] our actions together with the Syrian Army,” Evgeny Lukyanov said at the VII international security summit being held in Grozny, the capital of Russia’s Chechen Republic.
“Starting May 25, we reserve the right to unilaterally conduct airstrikes against forces of the international terrorist organizations and militant groups who didn’t join the truce,” the Russian minister warned last week.
He said that conducting joint missions would help eliminate the risk of inadvertently targeting civilians.
The rise in tensions in Syria follows Friday’s warning by Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura who stated that the next round of talks, penciled in for June, “will be in question” if the ceasefire is suspended. The negotiations became gridlocked in April after the Saudi-backed Syrian opposition withdrew from the negotiations, citing the deteriorating situation in Aleppo.