Comment of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia as regards the aggravation of the situation in the north-east of Syria
A marked aggravation of the situation in the east sector of the Syrian-Turkish frontier around the Syrian towns Ras al-Ayn and Tell Abyad populated mainly by Kurds has taken place recently. A confrontation between units of international extremists related to Al-Qaeda and local Kurdish militia men protecting their houses from invasions of radical Islamists has been observed in these regions for a long time. After several bloody confrontations, fighters from Kurdish formations managed to significantly press extremists, and, in particular, take their field commander Abu Musab, who called himself a Chechen, as a prisoner. In response, bandits took about 500 Kurds as prisoners, mainly women, children and old people and requested to free their commander. At the same time, they started to kill innocent people by cutting their heads off. Kurds were forced to free Abu-Musab in exchange of freedom for the hostages. However, the extremists broke their promise and, according to the data available, continue to hold about 200 civilians using them as a "human shield".
Moscow very decisively denounces atrocities of international terrorists in the north-east of Syria, outrages and humiliations of extremists in respect of civilian Kurds in no way involved in the military and political conflict, which continued in Syria. We see here the next bloody provocation aimed at further aggravation of intercommunity relations, breakdown of the country and creation of a based on international terrorism in its territory. The events in the north-east of SAR confirm again the topicality of the appeal to all Syrian parties – to the government and to the opposition – fixed in the Final communiqué of leaders of the Group of Eight in Lough Erne – to combine their efforts to defeat and drive away such terrorist groupings from the country. We think that this task should become one of the main items of agenda for a constructive all-Syrian dialogue within the framework of the International conference on Syria initiated by Russia and the United States.
23 July 2013