Kerry urged Russia to refrain from offensive operations in Syria

Russia does not need to conduct offensive operations in Syria, and must also withhold from such actions, the government of President Bashar al-Assad, said U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry. On it informs Agency Reuters.

“Obviously, it is now crucial for Russia to keep themselves and the Assad regime from conducting offensive operations, as well as our duty to keep the opposition from participation in such operations”, — said the head of the state Department at a press conference with the Minister of foreign Affairs of Colombia, Maria Angela Holguin.

The announcement came against the background of aggravation of the situation near the Syrian Aleppo. Previously, on 28 July the Minister of defence of Russia Sergey Shoigu told about the instructions of President Vladimir Putin to start large-scale humanitarian operation in Aleppo. The Minister explained that the Russian center for conciliation of conflicting parties, cooperation with the Syrian authorities open up some passages for the escape of people from Aleppo. To leave the city can not only civilians, but the Islamists, who wished to lay down their arms.

The head of the Federation Council Committee on defense and security Viktor Ozerov said that after the completion of the humanitarian operation can begin the assault on the city. However, the Kremlin have denied these reports.

The next day, July 29, Kerry could not give a definite response to Russia’s actions. He said that his office has not yet decided what to call it humanitarian operation of Russia in Aleppo. According to Kerry, “there is a risk that it’s a trick that will destroy the achieved level of cooperation.” “On the other hand, — said Kerry,” if we resolve this issue today and get a full understanding of what’s going on and reach an agreement on the way forward before we can really open up new opportunities.”

August 1 in the city, which is partially controlled by government forces, and the forces of Assad’s opponents, began an offensive of the opposition. Earlier on Sunday, government aircraft, the air force made several air strikes on the city.

On the same day while returning from Aleppo shot down a Russian military helicopter Mi-8. Five Russians who were on Board were killed. According to the chief of the main operations Directorate of the General staff of the Armed forces of Russia Sergey Rudskoy, the helicopter was shot down from the ground over the area under the control of armed groups of the terrorist group “dzhebhat an-Nusra” and joined her troops of so-called “moderate opposition”. Mi-8 was the third helicopter, which Russia has lost in Syria.