RUS­SIA SAYS CLOSE TO JOINT MIL­I­TARY AC­TION WITH US IN ALEPPO

Metro USA (New York) - - News -

2Rus­sia and the United States are close to start­ing joint mil­i­tary ac­tion against mil­i­tants in Syria’s city of Aleppo, Rus­sian news agen­cies on Mon­day cited De­fence Min­is­ter Sergei Shoigu as say­ing. Fighting for con­trol of Aleppo has in­ten­si­fied in re­cent weeks and there have been some gains for rebel groups bat­tling Syr­ian govern­ment forces. Shoigu’s state­ments come as a sur­prise be­cause Rus­sia and the United States back dif­fer­ent sides in the con­flict while par­tic­i­pat­ing in talks to try to find a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion. “We are now in a very ac­tive phase of ne­go­ti­a­tions with our Amer­i­can col­leagues,” the RIA news agency cited Shoigu as say­ing. “We are mov­ing step by step closer to a plan — and I’m only talk­ing about Aleppo here — that would re­ally al­low us to start fighting to­gether to bring peace so that peo­ple can re­turn to their homes in this trou­bled land.” Shoigu said about 700,000 peo­ple were still liv­ing in Aleppo and that those liv­ing in the east­ern part of the city were “hostages of armed groups.” Rus­sia backs Pres­i­dent As­sad in the 5-year-old Syr­ian con­flict, while the United States wants to see As­sad step down.

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