Russia ready to use military force against violators of cessation of hostilities agreement

Moscow, SANA – The Russian General Staff said Monday that the US is procrastinating in implementing the agreed rules to deal with the breach incidents of the cessation of hostilities agreement, which took effect in Syria on 27th of February.

Chief of the main operations department of the Russian General Staff Sergey Rudskoy said in a statement published by RT website that the Russian-US consultations, which took place in Amman on March 18, demonstrate that “the American side is not ready for a focused discussion and work on the agreement’s text.”

“The delays with bringing into force the agreed rules for reacting to violations of the cessation of hostilities in Syria are not acceptable. Every day, provocations and shelling there kill civilians,” he added.

He pointed out that the Russian side sent on 25 February via diplomatic channels draft proposals for ensuring commitment to controlling the cessation of hostilities in Syria.

“After receiving the US position on this document, we developed and sent a compromise draft agreement to the United States on March 5,” the official noted, adding that the Russian side proposed holding “expert consultations within the shortest time possible on agreeing its text.”

And as the consultations in Amman showed the US lack of readiness, the Russian side has decided to take moves.

“If the Russian Federation gets no response from the United States to these proposals, it will proceed starting March 22 to unilateral application of the rules specified in the Agreement,” Rudskoy.

“We emphasize that military force will be used only after we receive credible evidence of systematic violations by armed groups of the commitments made within the framework of the Joint US-Russian statement on the cessation of hostilities in Syria as of February 22, 2016. Military force will not be used against the groups, observing the cessation of hostilities, as well as against the civilian population and civilian facilities,” he added.

In a relevant context, head of the Russian Federation Council’s defense committee Viktor Ozerov said on Monday that Russia will strike terrorist groups breaching the cessation of hostilities agreement in Syria even if they claim to belong to the “moderate opposition”.

“If terrorists disguise themselves as moderate opposition and declare that they have joined the cessation of hostilities agreement, while only doing so in order to achieve favorable conditions for new attacks, of course, Russia cannot overlook this,” he added.

M. al-Frieh/H. Said

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