Russia and China have vetoed a UN resolution that was jointly proposed by New Zealand, Spain and Egypt for a 7-day ceasefire in Syria’s flashpoint city of Aleppo. Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s permanent envoy to the UN, has said that the truce would only permit the militants to regroup. He also noted the draft resolution contradicts the upcoming talks between Russian and American experts aimed at the removal of all militants from eastern Aleppo. We have asked Syrian activist and political commentator, Mimi al-Laham, whether she believes a ceasefire is needed at the current phase of the battle.
According to Laham, experience from previous ceasefires in Syria has shown that terrorists always use truce as an opportunity to resuscitatetheir forces on the ground, something that, according to the analyst, is not in favor of Russia and Syria who currently have the upper hand in the battle.
“That basically has been evident every time there has been a ceasefire. The US and its allies France, UK, the GCC (Persian Gulf Cooperation Council) countries have used it to re-arm and sort of give a break to the rebels. This has been done with negotiations with Russia. Russia agrees to this, basically knowing that that’s going to happen, but with some concessions provided to it by the US, whatever those may be,” Laham analyzed.
“But finally, the US broke the ceasefire agreement in a very profound way when they attacked the Syrian army in Daryr al-Zawr. Since that time, there hasn’t been another ceasefire because basically the US is not to be trusted,” she continued
The analyst argued that there’s no need for a ceasefire at this point, because it’s clear that Syria and its allies, Russia and Iran, are very close to victory in Aleppo and that there is basically no hope for militants to regain the city.
Laham further noted that human rights is a secondary objective for Washington and what is of great importance is the US influence in Syria which is totally dependent on the presence of terrorist elements there.
“Civilians are now exiting en masse as the Syrian army controls rebel-held areas. They are finally able to be free and leave the east of Aleppo. The only civilians now that are remaining perhaps are the rebels’ families or perhaps those who haven’t been allowed to leave by the rebels. This is what needs to be addressed. The fact that civilians are [not] being allowed to leave; that rebels are firing on civilians trying to escape. That is something that we need to be discussing in the United Nations not [through] a ceasefire with al-Qaeda and certainly not [through] a power-sharing [deal] with al-Qaeda,” she concluded.
The Syrian government has been making sweeping advances in militant-held areas in eastern Aleppo, with recent reports suggesting that the military and its allies have managed to retake two-thirds of the territory that used to be under the control of terrorists.