Syria believes it's on way to military victory
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem Saturday said Syria is more determined than ever to eliminate "terrorism" from the country.
United Nations: Syria's top diplomat has told the world's nations that his country's belief in military victory is greater now because the army "is making great strides in its war against terrorism" with support from Russia, Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah fighters.
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem Saturday said Syria is more determined than ever to eliminate "terrorism" from the country. The Syrian government refers to all those fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad as "terrorists," including Western-backed opposition groups.
Al-Moallem accused the "moderate armed opposition" of committing crimes and massacres against Syrians "that are no less barbaric" than those of the Islamic State extremist group and al-Qaida.
The Syrian government in turn has been accused by the US and other western nations of the indiscriminate killing of civilians, dropping bombs filled with chlorine gas as a chemical weapon, and torturing and killing opponents.
The Syrian official addressed the UN General Assembly's annual ministerial meeting after frantic but unsuccessful efforts by the US and Russian foreign ministers to revive a cease-fire that came into effect on September 12 but collapsed after a week following attacks by both sides. The truce was aimed at enabling the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid and paving the way for a resumption of talks between the government and opposition.
Syria was stepping up its military campaign even as talks were taking place between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the UN meeting on reviving the cease-fire.
As of yesterday, rebel-held parts of the city of Aleppo had come under a blistering wave of airstrikes that residents said was without precedent in the 5 1/2-year conflict which has killed over 300,000 people and driven half the country's population from their homes. The airstrikes killed dozens, toppled buildings and sent wounded people flooding into poorly equipped clinics.
Aid was never delivered to Aleppo, and on Saturday government forces captured an area on the edge of the city, tightening their siege around the rebel-held east.
Global reaction was swift and condemned the new Syrian offensive in harsh terms.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "is appalled by the chilling military escalation" in Aleppo and underlines that the use of indiscriminate weapons including incendiary devices and bunker buster bombs in densely populated areas "may amount to war crimes," his spokesman said, adding that Ban considers this "a dark day for the global commitment to protect civilians."
US Secretary of State John Kerry, called the bombing of Aleppo "beyond the pale," accusing the Syrian government of "laying siege in medieval terms to an entire community."
Speaking at Tufts University in Boston, he demanded that Russia help bring peace to Syria instead of "an unacceptable precedent ... For the entire world."