‘Only road’ to deliver aid to eastern Aleppo liberated – Russian MoD
The Castello Road, viewed by many in the media as the “only way” to deliver humanitarian aid to the Syrian city of Aleppo, has been liberated by the Syrian Army, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
“As a result of effective actions by the Syrian government forces, the Castello Road is now completely liberated. Thus, there are no impediments for humanitarian aid to be delivered to the people of Aleppo,” the head of operations for Russia’s General Staff, General Lieutenant Sergey Rudskoy, announced on Wednesday.
The route, which has been dubbed “death road” and the “only secure route into eastern Aleppo” by the western media, has been cited as one of the main obstacles for UN aid to be brought into eastern Aleppo.
The organization said that since July, when fighting between government forces and militants in the Syrian city intensified, its workers were unable to help civilians in eastern Aleppo, as the crucial road to reach them was cut off.
“Following recent developments, the Castello Road can be used for aid deliveries to eastern Aleppo without any limitations, or any further special talks or agreements. Whenever humanitarian workers are ready, they can use the road,” Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin told reporters, as cited by RIA Novosti.
The situation in areas of Aleppo which have been seized back by Assad forces is dire, the Russian Defense ministry said. While leaving the neighborhoods, the rebels disrupted all communications and utility systems, leaving civilians without water and electricity.
Engineer units of the Syrian Army have “immediately” started to de-mine the areas, Rudskoy informed, saying that in some neighborhoods, public water supply has been already restored.
The Russian military has also been deployed to restore vital infrastructure, the ministry said, adding that it aimed to provide facilities for peaceful life as soon as possible.
Russian military specialists will also examine areas where the militants may have produced chemical substances allegedly used in their attacks in Aleppo, the head of Russia’s General Staff operations told the media.
Russian experts find evidence of chemical weapons use by terrorists in Aleppo – MoD https://t.co/rHAhUIlqPU— RT (@RT_com) November 21, 2016
"Following a request from Syrian authorities, specialists from Russia's Defense Ministry will conduct examinations in areas of possible production and storage of chemical weapons in districts of Aleppo liberated from terrorists," Rudskoy said.
The military official added that Russian radiation, chemical and biological security specialists would be deployed following "confirmed reports" that militants used handmade chemical weapons against civilians in Aleppo.