Assad regime, other groups derailing truce: Turkish FM
Turkey, Iran, and Russia will also discuss Aleppo and cease-fire issue today, says Mevlut Cavusoglu
By Meltem Bulur
The Syrian regime and allied groups have been trying to derail the Aleppo cease-fire meant to allow the evacuation of civilians from the eastern part of the city, Turkey’s foreign minister said Wednesday.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other Turkish officials, Russia, and Iran have been working to provide a cease-fire in Aleppo, deliver humanitarian aid, and take necessary steps for civilians, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters before attending an Education Ministry international training workshop.
“Now we see that the regime and some groups have tried to derail [the cease-fire] and there are Russia and Iran here, there are powers supported by Iran, and of course there is the regime here,” Cavusoglu said.
“It is our wish that no one points the finger at someone else in such a humanitarian situation. There is an agreement here, and this must also be implemented,” he added.
“People have been slaughtered, children have been killed. So now, everyone is responsible here.”
Syrian regime forces and allied militias have violated the cease-fire that began at 07.00 p.m. local time (1600GMT) Tuesday evening, Cavusoglu stressed.
Cavusoglu added, however, that negotiations between Russia and Turkey are ongoing.
“We had discussions with [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov last night. Today we also will talk with Iran’s foreign minister and Lavrov at noon. And I hope that everyone will observe it [the truce], and that under it, the brutality and persecution will stop,” Cavusoglu said.
On the location of planned new camps for refugees from the city – once Syria’s second-largest – Cavusoglu confirmed that people will be evacuated to camps set to be established in Turkey, Aleppo, and northern Syria.
According to an Anadolu Agency reporter, at around 10.30 a.m. local time Wednesday, regime forces bombed several residential areas in opposition-held neighborhoods in eastern Aleppo.
Violence has recently escalated in the city as Syrian regime forces advanced into opposition-held parts of eastern Aleppo on Monday following a five-month siege and persistent aerial bombardment.
The Russia-backed Bashar al-Assad regime had been trying to reestablish control over parts of Aleppo captured four years ago by armed opposition groups.
Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests – which had erupted as part of the Arab Spring uprisings – with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed by the conflict and millions more displaced.