Moderate Opposition Involved in Attacks on Civilians in Aleppo: Syrian FM
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The West’s so-called “moderate” opposition is shelling residential areas in Aleppo, Syria alongside Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front, a letter sent to the UN by Damascus says.
In the letter on Sunday, which was addressed to the UN Secretary General and the Head of the UN Security Council, the Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry complained about ongoing attacks on safe neighborhoods in Aleppo, accusing some so-called “moderate” opposition groups of cooperating and coordinating with Al-Nusra and its affiliates in conducting them, Russia Today reported.
The ministry also accused some regional powers, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, of “sponsoring terrorists” and attempting to derail the peace negotiations in Geneva.
Over two thousand militants are taking part in an attack in and around Sheikh Maqsood, and groups belonging to the so-called “moderate opposition” are part of the forces amassing in that area, a spokesman for the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides said.
“Over two thousand militants of various terrorist groups and of the so-called ‘moderate opposition’ have gathered in the area of Sheikh Maqsood,” the spokesman said.
“As night fell, terrorist groups intensified shelling from the area of Castello mall, previously under control of the “moderate opposition,” he added.
The militants are using armored vehicles and heavy machine guns in their assault.
Massive indiscriminate shelling of Aleppo, which has killed more than 100 civilians, including 40 children, while injuring hundreds more, is just “part of a series of systematic terrorist acts plotted and prepared by the Turkish regime and perpetrated by the ‘moderate opposition’ groups in cooperation and coordination with Jabhat al-Nusra and its affiliates such as Jaish al-Islam, Ahrar al-Sham, and Jaish al-Fatah, among others,” the Syrian ministry’s letter reads.
The document also stresses that these attacks are part of “blatant attempts by the regime of Erdogan and the other regimes supporting and sponsoring terrorism in Riyadh and Doha to undermine the efforts seeking to stop the bloodshed and to foil the Geneva talks and the truce arrangements.”
Damascus demanded that the UN Security Council “assume its responsibilities in preserving international peace and security” and take “immediate” punitive measures against countries supporting and sponsoring terrorist groups, particularly Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar.
The ministry also accused some member states on the UN Security Council of applying double standards to the fight against terrorism and not being genuinely committed to it.
According to the letter, these accusations were provoked by the refusal of the US, France, the UK, and Ukraine to designate Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham as terrorist organizations and add them to the relevant list.
Damascus also stressed that, by turning a “blind eye to the Turkish regime’s opening of its border to let thousands of terrorists, all types of weapons, and even some Turkish soldiers, into northern Aleppo,” some states are encouraging the terrorists to commit massacres in Aleppo and violate the ceasefire regime.
This is not the first letter that the Syrian Foreign Ministry has sent to the UN complaining about terrorist attacks targeting civilians and accusing Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Turkey of aiding terrorist groups.
Letters were sent by the ministry in February and June of 2015 to denounce attacks in Aleppo and Damascus, as well as Turkey’s transgressions on Syrian territory.