Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing full-scale military offensive on the Syrian city of Aleppo. The operation will begin this week, reports The Times , citing data from Western intelligence.
The Russian leader plans to use the political lull in Washington that comes on the presidential election and after, to win a decisive victory in Aleppo, the Eastern part of which is held by Syrian rebels. According to the newspaper, Putin will hold a surgery in the interests of its ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and plans to complete it by mid-January.
The only Russian aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov”, from mid-October began its campaign in the Mediterranean sea in the composition of naval strike groups will be used to increase firepower of Russia in Aleppo, the newspaper notes.
– Share with the ringing of bells in memory of the victims of the bombing in Aleppo has irritated Putin
Against this background, Russia has again accused the United States and its allies unwillingness to dissociate the moderate opposition Syria from terrorists, according to TASS. “Almost two-week pause in the flights of Russian planes VC and the Syrian air force would have to be sufficient in order for this dissociation to hold – said the Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. – If it does not, then our previous estimates it is necessary to adjust some. We said earlier that, apparently, the US and its allies either can’t or don’t want to dissociate from moderate “al-Nusra Dzhebhat” (organization banned in Russia. – Approx. NEWSru.com). Now, apparently, you have to say that they really don’t want to do that.”
Last week, Lavrov expressed support for the continuation of active hostilities in Aleppo, noting that “the terrorists need to finish it.” Then the Minister also noted that the opposition had enough time to dissociate themselves from members of terrorist groups.
Meanwhile, according to the Syrian Supervisory Board for human rights (SOHR), based in Britain, in the last 48 hours due to shelling by rebels of government-controlled areas have killed at least 38 people, including 14 children, according to Reuters. The militant group “Jaish al-Fatah” after capturing several districts of Aleppo have declared the second stage of the attack to stop the siege of the city.
On the eve of the Syrian and Russian state media reported that in a residential area of Aleppo, the militants used shells with poisonous gas against government troops. It was reported dozens of victims. At the same time the representative of a group of Syrian rebels “Fastack” has denied the information about the chemical attack in an interview with Reuters.
Formally, Moscow and Damascus continue to observe the cease-fire in Aleppo. The General staff of the armed forces, on 28 October, addressed to Putin asking to resume airstrikes on militants in the Eastern part of the city. The General staff announced that the Syrian opposition went on the offensive, taking advantage of the moratorium on the use of Russian and Syrian aircraft that allegedly led to numerous victims among the civilian population. Putin, however, considered inappropriate resumption of Russian air strikes videoconferencing in Aleppo.
Before sources The Sunday Times reported that three Russian submarines went to the coast of Syria. Two nuclear submarines “Shark” and one diesel-electric submarine class “Kilo”, joined the ship’s band of the Russian Federation headed by the aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov”, said the sources. According to the newspaper, the military chiefs of NATO fear that cruise missiles “Calibre” installed on submarines can strike targets in Syria.
In recent weeks, repeatedly sounded the assumption that Russia is preparing a massive operation to capture Aleppo, which would involve carrier battle group led by the cruiser “Admiral Kuznetsov”. In particular, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concernthat the fleet can be used “as a platform for air strikes on Syria.” The Secretary General expects that the naval force will apply to the bombing of Aleppo, including using carrier-based aircraft.
Of the ship aircraft carrier group of the Northern fleet began the trip to the Mediterranean on 15 October. It consists of the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov, the heavy nuclear missile cruiser “Pyotr Veliky”, large anti-submarine ships “Severomorsk” and “Vice-Admiral Kulakov” and the ships security.