Syria censures Western countries for double standards over terrorist groups
Syria has censured several western countries over refusal to recognize hostile groups operating in the country as terrorist organizations.
“The refusal of the US, France, Britain and Ukraine in the UN Security Council to list Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Islam as terrorist organizations proves that those countries continue their double standard policy in fighting terrorism and shows their irresponsible attitude to the issue,” read a letter sent by the Syrian Foreign Ministry to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Sputnik reported on Sunday.
On Thursday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov announced that the Kremlin had called on the council to add the groups to the list of terrorist organizations but, “Western partners are not ready for this.”
In April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that the groups harbored the Daesh Takfiri ideology and noted that they were outlawed by the Russia and many other countries.
The Syrian opposition groups have on multiple occasions been accused of breaking a shaky cessation of hostilities in the country.
Brokered by Moscow and Washington, the nation-wide cessation of hostilities was introduced in February in a bid to facilitate dialogue between Syria’s rival parties. Daesh and al-Nusra Front terrorist groups were excluded from the truce.
There are also reports of groups using chemical weapons around the Syrian northwestern city of Aleppo.
Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry announced the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham were continuing to attack government positions in Aleppo.
“Militants from al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham armed groups conducted a mortar attack against the positions of [Syrian] government forces in the district of Ansar in Aleppo’s southwest,” said a spokesman with the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation.
On Saturday, the center announced that over 40 people, including civilians, had reportedly been killed in recent rocket attacks carried out by foreign-backed militants.
“There was continuous bombardment by rocket launchers, canon artillery, mortars and anti-aircraft installations. The terrorists shelled several areas of the city inhabited not only by government forces and Kurdish troops but also civilians,” said the center.
“Armed units of the al-Nusra Front terrorist group delivered a massive strike on the neighborhoods of Sheikh Maqsood, al-Muhafaza and al-Zahra and on al-Nayrab airport in Aleppo,” it added.
A militant in Syria fires artillery during clashes with pro-government forces near the village of Om al-Krameel, in Aleppo’s southern countryside on May 5, 2016. (AFP)
Aleppo has been divided between government forces in the west and militants in the east since 2012, a year after the conflict broke out in Syria.
The ceasefire monitoring center also announced that more than 2,000 militants had gathered in a northern neighborhood of the embattled city for an offensive.
Violence in some parts of Syria, particularly around Aleppo, has left the ceasefire in tatters in recent weeks and torpedoed peace talks on the conflict.
Damascus accuses Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar of funding and arming terrorist groups, including Daesh, operating inside the country.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy it blames on some regional and western governments. According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict in Syria has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people in total since March 2011.