Russia ponders over Ghouta

By Monitoring Desk
Wednesday – March 14, 2018
MOSCOW (Russia): Chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces general of the army Valery Gerasimov on Tuesday stated that stabilisation of situation in the Syrian Arab republic is one of the most important tasks being handled by the Russian armed forces, as a result of implementing commitments reached in Astana, de-escalation zones located in the provinces of Idlib, Homs, southern Syria are functioning however the situation in Ghouta is turning tense.

According to an official statement, “In the eastern Ghouta, illegal armed formations continue regular shelling attacks against living quarters of the Syrian capital. Over the last month, 15 people were killed and 133 civilians were wounded,” Gerasimov stated.

He added that terrorists and so-called “moderate opposition” imprisoned civilians and used them as a human shield. They are violently suppressing protests of the eastern Ghouta residents. People are forced to stay in the area on pain of death.

The head of the Russian general staff noted that terrorists killed four and wounded 10 people during dispersing demonstrations in Hammuriyah, and killed five and wounded 12 people in Kafr Batna.

However, situation in the eastern Ghouta tended to stabilise despite continuous efforts of insurgents aimed to wreck peacemaking initiatives. Since the united nations (UN) security council resolution 2401 had come into force, 145 civilians and 13 representatives of armed opposition left the eastern Ghouta via the humanitarian corridor organised by the Russian federation.

76 civilians left the eastern Ghouta on Tuesday. Today, over 1,000 insurgents and civilians are going to leave Douma area according to agreements reached with leaders of insurgents.

The Russian centre of reconciliation organised 11 humanitarian actions. People received medical assistance as well as food supplies and the bare necessities.

Taken efforts allowed to organise delivery of two humanitarian convoys of the UN and Syrian Arab red crescent to the eastern Ghouta. They transported 318 tons of food and medical supplies.

“The Russian side has reliable information about provocations being prepared by insurgents. They are going to stage the use of chemical weapons by the government troops against civilians. In order to do this, insurgents took women, children, and elderly people to some areas of the eastern Ghouta in order to simulate victims of a chemical incident,” chief of the Russian general staff warned.

According to him, activists of the “white helmets” as well as film crews with satellite video broadcasting equipment are deployed in the area.

“It is proved by a chemical weapon laboratory detected in Aftris, which had been liberated from terrorists,” Gerasimov said and added, “According to the data, after the provocation, the United States (US) plan to accuse the Syrian government troops of using chemical weapons, demonstrate so-called ‘evidence’ of alleged numerous victims among civilians caused by actions of the Syrian government supported by the Russian leadership.”

Gerasimov pointed out that Washington was going to deliver a missile and bomb strike on Damascus quarters controlled by the Syrian government.

He stressed that there are Russian military advisers, representatives of the Russian reconciliation centre, and military policemen present at the objects of the Syrian defence department in Damascus.

 “If lives of the Russian officers are threatened, the armed forces of the Russian federation will retaliate against missile and launch systems,” he said. 

Gerasimov held a telephone conversation with the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general Joseph Dunford.

The sides discussed situation in the Syrian Arab republic and the eastern Ghouta. Gerasimov and Dunford agreed on continuing bilateral contacts.