US President Obama urges Russia to stop bombing in Syrian
Feb 15, Damascus: President of United States Barack Obama urged Russia to stop bombing “moderate” rebels in Syria in support of its ally President Bashar al-Assad.
World leaders have agreed on Friday to a limited cessation of hostilities in Syria but the deal does not take effect until the end of this week and was not signed by any warring parties – the Damascus government and numerous rebel factions fighting it.
Russian bombing raids directed at rebel groups are helping the Syrian army to achieve what could be its biggest victory of the war in the battle for Aleppo, the country’s largest city and commercial centre before the conflict, media reports said.
There is little optimism that the deal reached in Munich will do much to end a war that has lasted five years and cost 250,000 lives.
President Vladimir Putin and Obama had spoken by telephone and agreed to intensify cooperation to implement the Munich agreement, the Kremlin informed.
In a statement Kremlin made clear that Russia was committed to its campaign against Islamic State and “other terrorist organisations”, an indication that it would also target groups in western Syria, where jihadists such as al Qaeda are fighting Assad in close proximity to rebels deemed moderate by the West.
The White House said Obama’s discussion with Putin stressed the need to rush humanitarian aid to Syria and contain air strikes.
The White House said in a statement that in particular, President Obama emphasised the importance now of Russia playing a constructive role by ceasing air campaign against moderate opposition forces in Syria.
The Oslo Times