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Speech of the Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces lieutenant-general Sergei Rudskoy before representatives of mass media

Today a terrorist attack that resulted in downing of a Mi-8 military transport helicopter on its way back from a humanitarian mission aimed at food and medicaments delivery to the inhabitants of Aleppo has been committed.

According to the available information, the helicopter was downed from ground over the area which is under control of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist formations and detachments of the “moderate opposition” which had joined this terrorist grouping.

There were three crew members and two officers of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria. According to the preliminary information, all of them were killed.

At the present time we are finding out the location of the Russian servicemen.

The ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist detachments and “moderate opposition” units which had joined those terrorist organizations continue constant attacks on units of the Syrian Armed Forces both in the north and in the south of Aleppo aimed at encirclement of the city. Suicide bombers are widely used.

The number of terrorist attacks in the region of Aleppo has passed over a hundred in the course of the last two months. Just during the last week there were 4 attacks with participation of 11 suicide bombers, which took over 250 lives, about 900 people have been injured.

Yesterday at 17:00, a grouping of militants (up to 5 thousand men strong) undertook an attempt of a massive offensive in the direction of the inhabited area Ansar to the south-west of Aleppo. The attack was preceded by blasting of four infantry fighting vehicles fitted with explosives at positions of the government troops. The offensive was held under the command of the Jabhat al-Nusra.

Today joint efforts of the Syrian army and national militia with support of the Russian Aerospace Forces have repelled the attack of the armed formations by 04:00 a.m. In the course of combat actions, over 800 militants, 14 tanks, 10 IFVs, over 60 automobile vehicles with weaponry on them were eliminated.

At the same time, significant losses do not stop militants; they continue moving up reserves, terrifying soldiers of government troops, depriving civilians from leaving the operation zone as well as using them as “living shield”.

Yesterday in the Eastern part of Aleppo terrorists executed 4 persons, who tried to leave the city through the corridors.

Terrorists do not stop shelling of residential quarters and positions of the government troops from under-controlled regions.

More than 30 shellings of Aleppo residential quarters with mortars and multiple launch rocket systems have been performed since July 28. Forty-two civilians have been killed and 98 ones were injured.

Aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces actively supports the Syrian government troops in repelling attacks of the enemy by performing selective strikes on positions of insurgents.

It is to be stressed that Russian party does everything possible in order to prevent victims among civilians and does not assign targets located in towns unlike the US-led antiterrorist coalition active near Membidj.

Russian Federation continues work aimed at stabilization of situation in the Syrian Arab Republic. Within the last week, another 109 inhabited areas have signed ceasefire agreements. In total, there are 329 such inhabited areas. Moreover, leaders of armed formations of “moderate opposition” signed 61 ceasefire application forms.

In order to stabilize the humanitarian situation in Aleppo, in accordance to the decree of the President of the Russian Federation, the large-scale humanitarian operation has been launched in Aleppo in cooperation with the Syrian government since July 28.

Seven humanitarian corridors have been opened in order to rescue and provide assistance to civilians held hostage by terrorists as well as to insurgents who have decided to lay down their arms. Food service and first aid posts are deployed in these areas.

Another corridor has been opened in the north of Aleppo in direction to the Castello Road for safe withdrawal of armed insurgents.

Helicopters of the Syrian Air Forces drop about 100.000 leaflets on quarters of eastern part of Aleppo every day showing the scheme of humanitarian corridors and conditions of withdrawal. Moreover, the population gets information about routes of leaving from the city along humanitarian corridors and location of posts with hot meal and medical assistance by TV, radio, SMS, and loudspeakers.

In total, 324 civilians including 76 children have reached humanitarian assistance posts leaving Eastern regions of Aleppo. 82 insurgents have dropped their weapons and are undergoing amnesty procedure. Negotiations with a number of “moderate opposition” formations are being held by Syrian command staff.

The city authorities have deployed 6 humanitarian centres providing up to 3,000 people with everything necessary.

The Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides has stored more than 15 tons of humanitarian cargos with food products, medicaments and items of first necessity. Yesterday another 15 tons of Russian humanitarian cargos left Hmeymim airbase for Aleppo.

On July 28-31, the Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides delivered 10000 kits of humanitarian help (food products, medicaments, essentials). Over two tons of food kits have been delivered to the inhabitants by humanitarian centres. 143 civilians received medical help.

A “hot line” was opened in the National Centre for State Defence Control of the Russian Federation, which is to receive proposals of humanitarian help for Aleppo inhabitants from Russian and foreign citizens as well as organizations.

For that purpose there has also been created a special section on the Russian Defence Ministry website (in Russian and English languages).

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