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West still arming Al-Nusra in Syria, peace almost impossible – Russia’s UN envoy

The Al-Nusra Front in Aleppo keeps receiving tanks and heavy weapons shipped by their Western backers as the US turns a blind eye, Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, told the Security Council. He added that securing peace “is almost an impossible task now.”

Al-Nusra Front is currently the most powerful group fighting against the government in Aleppo, with 2,000 out of 3,500 militants in the city the group’s members.

“They are armed by tanks, APCs, field artillery, multiple rocket launchers… dozens and dozens of units, including heavy weaponry… Of course, they couldn’t have made this equipment themselves. All of this has been received by them and is still being shipped to them by generous Western backers, with the US, presumably, turning a blind eye,” Churkin said.

According to the Russian envoy, the Al-Nusra Front militants use the civilian population of Aleppo as human shields while indiscriminately attacking residential areas in the city controlled by the Syrian government.

“Over 200,000 residents of Aleppo are hostages of the Al-Nusra Front and groups allied with it,” Churkin said.

The terrorists are the main reason why attempts to deliver humanitarian aid to Aleppo have failed, contradicting accusations by the US, which blames Russia and Damascus, he said.

Moscow’s experience of giving concessions to the Syrian rebels following requests from the US, in the hope of it culminating in a ceasefire has not worked, Churkin told the Security Council adding that Moscow will no longer be following these steps.

Vitaly Churkin said that Russia has pressured Damascus on several occasions to meet the demands of its opponents, in the hope that this would lead to a ceasefire. However, this has not had the desired result and has seen constant violations by some rebel groups despite Washington’s promise to keep them under control.

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West still arming Al-Nusra in Syria, peace almost impossible – Russia’s UN envoy

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