Moscow warned that any American attempts to stop its assault on Aleppo would lead to “frightening tectonic shifts in the Middle East”, as Assad regime and Russian forced continued their assault on the rebel-held parts of the city.
Assad regime, backed by Russia, said on Sptember 22 it was starting a new wide offensive to recapture the rebel-held parts of Aleppo after a week-long ceasefire was declared officially over on 19 September. the offensive includes a ground assault, artillery bombardment, and intensive airstrikes.
Since 19 September, more than 500 civilians have been killed and more than 1700 injured in rebel-held areas of Aleppo province, including the besieged eastern part of the city, Civil defense workers said.
U.S.-Russian tensions over Syria have escalated since the breakdown of a cease-fire last month, with each side blaming the other for its failure. Syrian government forces backed by Russian warplanes have launched a major onslaught on rebel-held parts of the northern city of Aleppo.
Russian news agencies quoted Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying that a U.S. intervention against the Syrian army “will lead to terrible, tectonic consequences not only on the territory of this country but also in the region on the whole.”
With no government in Damascus, there will be a power vacuum in Syria, which “so-called moderates, who are, in reality, not moderate at all but just terrorists of all flavors, would fill; and there will be no dealing with them,” the diplomat predicted.
“And later it would be aggravated the way it happened in Iraq. We know that [Saddam Hussein’s] Iraqi Army became the basis of the Islamic State. Everything that both the [US-led] coalition and Russia are fighting now stems from it,” Zakharova said.
The Kremlin said on Friday there was no time frame for its military operation in Syria. The main result of Russian air strikes over the past year is that “neither Islamic State, nor al Qaeda nor the Nusra Front are now sitting in Damascus”, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Russia’s Izvestia newspaper reported that a group of Su-24 and Su-34 warplanes had arrived at Syria’s Hmeymim base.
The Su-25 is an armored twin-engine jet that was battle-tested in the 1980s during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. It can be used to strafe targets on the ground, or as a bomber.
Western countries accuse Russia of war crimes, saying it has targeted civilians, hospitals and aid deliveries in recent days to crush the will of 250,000 people trapped inside the besieged rebel-held sector of Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city before the war.
The Assad regime forces, backed by Russian air power, Iranian ground forces and Shi’ite militia fighters from Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon, has been tightening its grip on rebel-held districts of Aleppo this year, and this summer achieved a long-held goal of fully encircling the area.
Recovering full control of the rebels’ last significant urban area would be the most important victory of the war so far for Assad, strengthening his control over Syria’s most populous and strategically important regions.
The Syrian crisis began as a peaceful demonstration against the injustice in Syria. Assad regime used to fire power and violence against the civilians and led to armed resistance. 450.000 Syrians lost their lives in the past five years according to UN estimates, and more than 12 million have lost their homes.