Astana talks to resume in September. Dozens of civilians killed by US bombs at Raqqa
The goal of the meetings is to prepare the ground for peace between the Syrian government and the emerging opposition front in Syria. And to achieve a ceasefire throughout the country. The Russian army announces the "complete liberation" of Aleppo from "terrorists". In the last 24 hours, US jets have killed 42 civilians in the Islamic State stronghold.
Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The next round of peace talks between Iran, Turkey and Russia, scheduled for Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, at the end of August with the aim of reaching a ceasefire in Syria have been postponed to mid-September. This is according to Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister who adds that the exact date will be established during a meeting between delegates from Moscow, Ankara and Tehran scheduled in the coming days.
Kazakh Foreign Minister, Kairat Abdrakhmanov, reports that the change of date is a result of "information received from Russia". His Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov added that the next meeting, at the level of "experts", should draw up the agenda of the Astana summit, which will be held at the latest "by the beginning of September".
During the last meeting in the capital of Kazakhstan, leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran have agreed on the creation of areas of "de-escalation" of the conflict. Last week the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said he hoped the launch of "real, substantial" peace talks between the government of Damascus and the still-to-be-formed unified Syrian opposition in October.
Meanwhile, Russia's chief of military operations in Syria, General Sergey Rudskoy, said the Syrian province of Aleppo was "completely liberated" from terrorists. The Syrian government, he added, has "severely defeated" the Islamic State (IS, former Isis) and " 50 centers and an area of more than 2700 sq. Km have been liberated." He also anticipated that "all Central Syria will soon be liberated".
In the face of the struggle against Isis, there is news of more civilian casualties in the raids carried out by the US-led international coalition on Raqqa, the stronghold of Daesh [Arabic acronym for SI] in Syria. Sources from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights report that in the last 24 hours US jets have killed "dozens of civilians, at least 42" according to the latest toll. There are also 19 children and 12 women among them. Since August 14, at least 167 civilians have died under US bombs.
Hussam Essa of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a group that has documented the jihadists atrocities in the city these years, confirms that "unfortunately, civilians have no way to protect themselves. All they can do is try to hide in whatever shelter they can and avoid going out into the street as much as possible. "
At the beginning of June, the US-led international coalition said that 22,983 air strikes in Syria and Iraq have been launched since 2014, where at least 624 civilians died - accidentally. However, human rights activists and associations dispute the figures provided by saying that the number of victims is far greater.