Several groups of “moderate” opposition in Syria is working together with terrorists, and Russia cannot ignore this, Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.
Despite the ceasefire declared by Syrian government forces for 72 hours, “armed groups led and controlled by militants from Jabhat al-Nusra (terrorist organization banned in Russia) and militants from other illegal groups, continued their attempts to oust the Syrian army from its current positions,” Zakharova said. “Moreover, several groups of the moderate armed opposition are acting synchronously with terrorist groups. We cannot but mention this,” she added.
“In order to eliminate the hotbed of terrorism in Syria, it is necessary to differentiate clearly between armed opponents of the current authorities who reject terrorist methods and terrorists, including from Jabhat al-Nusra,” she stressed.
A ceasefire regime brokered by Russia and the United States on February 22 officially came into effect in Syria at midnight Damascus time on February 27. This does not cover terrorist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, both outlawed in Russia, and other groups recognized as terrorist by the United Nations Security Council.
An hour before the ceasefire came into force, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution in support cessation of hostilities in Syria. The document was initiated by Russia and the United States and won support from all the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council.