US-Russia talks on Syria at risk. Dozens of families flee east Aleppo
Moscow (and Damascus) continue the bombing campaign on the eastern sector. Spokesman for the Kremlin: the United States "not constructive rhetoric." Kerry Washington responds: we are "on the verge" of breaking off negotiations. The testimonies of Aleppo families who have fled the area in the hands of the rebels. The Gulf countries are ready to provide new weapons to anti-government militias.
Aleppo (AsiaNews) - Regardless of the "warnings" issued by Washington, Russia continues its bombing campaign of eastern Aleppo, which is in the hands of anti-government rebels. The possibility of an anti-Isis (or Islamic State) Russian-American cooperation is growing remote and also are ceasefire proposals for the distribution of humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile, in Aleppo people continue to die: according to the data provided by the London based Syrian Human Rights, 9300 people have died in a year of joint Moscow - Damascus air raids. Among these, about 3,800 were civilians.
Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, says that Moscow is still interested in an agreement with the United States. However, according to the senior Russian official Washington is only offering "non-constructive rhetoric". At the same time Russia "continues" air operations in support of "anti-terrorist struggle" launched by Damascus.
US Secretary of State John Kerry responded that Washington is "on the verge" of ending talks with Moscow over Aleppo. "It is irrational - said the head of US diplomacy - in the context of the bombings that are taking place, to sit here and try to take things seriously."
Meanwhile, the Republican Party, in full campaign for the upcoming November presidential vote, is attacking the White House for not taking so far more punitive measures against Russia and Damascus. Kerry warned that "it is easy to criticize," but, he added, "what would the alternative be?".
On the ground thousands of Aleppo families are pouring through the dividing line that separates the east zone (rebel-held) from the western sector, demanding protection from the Syrian government. They are fleeing the sector subject to heavy Russian-Syrian bombing, despite threats from the extremist Islamic militia Al Nusra Front and Harakat Nur Eddin Al Zenki. This dramatic situation involves 300 thousand civilians, who have been living in terror and for four years, recently, were used as human shields.
The inhabitants of the western part of Aleppo - more than one million people - although also in a catastrophic humanitarian situation, have come together in an unprecedented chain of solidarity. Witnesses report people arriving from all sides, from all confessions (Muslim and Christian), bringing with them the little they have to help the displaced. Blankets, mattresses, towels, toys, food, some even brought a radio with batteries. The Syrian government has transferred the refugees to a camp, already previously set up.
The municipal authorities of Aleppo west have offered white minibuses, for the relocation of displaced persons; since this morning trucks loaded with water, a primary resource that is becoming scarce in this sector of the city, have been making runs. The authorities have set up an oven for the free distribution of bread; at the same time a medical dispensary has also been opened, for visits and to administer medical care to the refugees. In addition there is also a team of psychiatrists - all volunteers - who willing to treat the traumatized.
Meanwhile, the government has opened the doors of Jibrin school, intended to accommodate the young people who been without schooling for years.
A woman among the dozens of refugees who fled from the eastern sector describes the climate of fear, deprivation and prohibition under the control of the extremist militias (and jihadi) of the east sector. "We had difficulties to guarantee even bread to eat - said told Syrian state television - not to mention electricity and water. We could not even send our children to school. " A man described the "terror with which we were kept segregated, making us believe that the regular army would have killed everyone. And if we had tried to go the other way, our lives would no longer be saved”. The newcomers have appealed to their fellow citizens who have remained in the east of the city, inviting them to "break the barriers of terror" and "move to the west."
Meanwhile, after the liberation of the neighborhood of Al Farafira in the east of the old town of Aleppo, the advance and the reconquest of the eastern sector by regular troops does not seem to be encountering any obstacles. Many believe that the decisive battle for the liberation of the city, unless there are complications or vetoes imposed by the United States, is imminent.
However, militiamen have received "an massive quantity of Grad type missiles, with a range of up to 40 km", to be used "in the battles of Aleppo, Hama and the coastal zone”, Fares Al Biush, one of the leaders of the so-called moderate militias who control the eastern sector told Reuters.
The danger, as in the past, is that weapons and ammunition fall into the hands of the Islamic State (IS). In addition, as reported by the magazine Focus, the al Nusra Front received a supply of portable anti-aircraft missiles. A news that is likely to increase the tunnel of death and destruction that has engulfed this part of the planet for years. According to the United States many emirates of the Gulf, with Saudi Arabia in the lead, are ready to provide other anti-aircraft missiles to the armed rebel groups and jihadists in the east of Aleppo. (PB)