Russia eliminates 35,000 terrorists in Syria. The West wants Russia tried for war crimes
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoygu said during a ministerial meeting that Russia eliminated 35,000 militants during operations conducted by the Russian Air Force in Syria.
According to Shoygu, as many as 9,000 terrorists laid down their arms during Russia's interference in the conflict. In addition, Russian forces destroyed more than 700 terrorist training camps on the territory of Syria.
During the meeting, Sergei Shoygu also said that the share of combat-ready missile launchers in the Strategic Missile Forces of the Russian Federation has reached 99 percent.
"Strategic nuclear forces are maintained at a level that guarantee the solution of nuclear deterrence objectives. Ninety-nine percent of missile launchers in Strategic Missile Forces are in combat readiness and more than 96 percent of them are constantly ready for immediate launches," the minister said.
Earlier, Russia and the United States held a video conference on the implementation of the memorandum of flight safety in operations in Syrian airspace. Both sides pointed out the efficiency of interaction during the withdrawal of militants from Aleppo.
The Syrian army has established control over the entire territory of the city of Aleppo, Russia's official representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin said.
Earlier, Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu said that Russian modern weapons had demonstrated their reliability and efficiency in operations in Syria.
"Many modern domestic samples of weapons have been tested in difficult conditions of desert terrain and they have generally demonstrated reliability and effectiveness," the minister said at a military-technical conference devoted to the improvement of weapons in view of the Syrian experience.
"During the operation in Syria, we have managed to stabilize the situation in the country and liberated a significant part of its territory from armed groups of international terrorists. We have also managed to organize the work of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of Warring Parties," the minister said.
UN to establish International Tribunal for Syria
Meanwhile, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on 21 December to set up a mechanism to conduct investigations into incidents of war crimes in Syria. In accordance with the resolution, those responsible for war crimes in Syria will be prosecuted.
Pravda.Ru requested an expert opinion on the subject from Professor of the Moscow State University, Doctor of Political Sciences Andrei Manoilo.
"What can Russia expect from these investigations?"
"I believe that this resolution is a prelude to the establishment of the international tribunal for Syria. Judging by the context of the resolution, the structure will be similar to the former tribunal for Yugoslavia.
"In Syria, a lot of war crimes have been committed. Of course, organizers and instigators of the civil war should be prosecuted accordingly. It is possible that Western countries may try to use the resolution as an instrument of pressure on Russia. The West accuses Bashar Assad, his regime and the Russian Federation of war crimes in the Syrian conflict.
"If the group is created, it should include representatives of at least five permanent UN Security Council members. Yet, creating the investigative group is not enough. One should also create a specific legal regime to regulate investigations and collection of evidence. It will be an international group that should also include Assad's representatives, and Russia will insist on that," the professor told Pravda.Ru.
Noteworthy, US Secretary of State John Kerry earlier demanded the actions of Syrian government and Russian governments should be investigated. According to Kerry, Russia's actions in Syria should be categorised as "war crimes."
Meanwhile, Russia on behalf of the chairing state at the UN Security Council started distributing the "White Book" on Syria. The book is a collection of documents that describe "mistakes" that the US-led coalition has made in Syria. Those "mistakes," as US Secretary of State John Kerry put it, could well be referred to as war crimes.
"These documents are not meant to make White House officials pray for absolution. The international community should know what the USA was doing in Syria, and this is what the documents in the "White Book" say. Those documents should be disseminated among other international organisations as well," Senator, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs, Andrei Klimov, earlier told Pravda.Ru
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US wants to ascribe victory over terrorism in Syria to itself