Putin to Macron, Merkel: Syrian Truce Doesn't Apply to Anti-Terror Ops

In the wake of the adoption of the UN resolution on a 30-day truce on Syrian territory, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed with France’s President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel the state of affairs in the Syrian East Ghouta, the region which had recently seen a drastic deterioration of the humanitarian situation.
During the phone conversation between the leaders the situation in East Ghouta and problems of providing humanitarian access to this and other regions of Syria were discussed, according to the Kremlin’s press service.

“Special attention was given to the fact that the cessation of military actions does not apply to the operations against terrorist groups,” the Kremlin said.

The sides also commended the results of “joint, constructive work,” that allowed to adopt the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2401 on February 24, while the leaders also “noted the importance of continuing joint efforts to achieve full and speedy implementation of the resolution’s provisions,” according to the statement.
Putin has informed the foreign leaders of the steps that Russia undertakes in Syria to evacuate civilians, deliver aid supplies and provide medical help to those injured.
“The agreement has been reached on invigoration of information exchange on the situation in Syria through various channels,” the Kremlin’s statement read.
Earlier in the day, Iran echoed Russia’s stance and supported the provision of the resolution, which says that the truce in Syria does not cover terrorists in Eastern Ghouta, adding that militants would continue to be targeted by the Syrian army.
The telephone conversation comes after on February 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution introducing a 30-day truce on the whole Syrian territory to ensure the safe humanitarian deliverers and medical evacuation of those injured. However, the ceasefire regime does not cover military operations against Daesh, al-Qaeda, and Jabhat Fatah al Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front) terrorist groups.
The humanitarian situation in the suburb east of the Syrian capital, has drastically deteriorated since February 18, when Syrian government forces launched an operation codenamed “Damascus Steel,” in a bid to clear the region of militants. According to the Russian military, the terrorist groups in the region are purposely struggling to escalate the situation in East Ghouta, preventing civilians from leaving the area and provoking retaliatory fights against the Syrian government.