Russian servicemen prepare an SU-24 fighter jet for a mission from the Russian Hmeimim military base in Latakia province, in the northwest of Syria on May 4, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
Russia has underlined that its aerial campaign in Syria against positions of foreign-backed terrorists has been “highly effective,” dismissing allegations that its bombings over the militant-held city of Aleppo amounted to war crimes.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov insisted on Monday that the airstrikes across Syria by Russian aircraft in support of government troops had prevented heavily armed terrorists from taking over the Arab country.
"From this perspective our participation has been highly effective, especially now when the situation around Aleppo has worsened," Gatilov said.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov
The senior official further rejected accusations by Syria’s opposition that Russian jets were indiscriminately bombing Aleppo’s militant-controlled eastern section to support an ongoing offensive by Syrian troops aimed at fully recapturing the country’s second largest city.
The largest hospital in eastern Aleppo was bombed over the weekend for the second time in days. Moscow was accused of bombing the medical facility.
Syrian government forces patrol Ramussa area south of the city of Aleppo on September 21, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
Russia has persistently denied allegations that its airstrikes have targeted hospitals and other civilian centers.
"Accusations that Russia is allegedly bombing medical facilities, hospitals, schools are all baseless," Gatilov emphasized.
Russian air force fighters have been striking armed terrorists across Syria, including Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terror groups, at the official request of the government of President Bashar al-Assad since September 30, 2015.
The Russian official also stated that Russia was working to agree with Washington on "what needs to be done to renew the cessation of hostilities."
On September 9, Russia and the United States agreed on a truce deal aimed at allowing humanitarian access to conflict-ridden areas and joint attacks against militant groups that are not included in the agreement, mainly the Daesh Takfiri terrorists and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.
Ten days later on September 19, the Syrian army announced an end to the ceasefire, blaming militants for the failure of the truce.
Syria’s foreign-sponsored crisis began in March 2011 and has so far claimed the lives of more than 400,000 people, according to an estimate by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.