Iran says rebels not respecting ceasefire in Syria

Tehran, May 9 (IANS) Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday said the recent killing of Iranian military advisers in Syria shows that militants fighting the Syrian government are not committed to the ceasefire.

“In recent developments, some of Iranian military advisers to Syria were martyred. This is the sign of lack of precise mechanisms for the fulfilment of the ceasefire,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari told reporters.

On Saturday, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said 13 of its military advisers had been killed in Syrian clashes in the town of Khan Tuman, south of the Syrian province of Aleppo, reported Xinhua news agency.

In a statement, the IRGC said that 21 other Iranians were also wounded in the clashes.

A party to the truce is the Syrian government that is accountable for its commitments, the Iranian spokesman said.

However, he added, the Syrian opposition is not homogeneous and that some groups are terrorists who control parts of Syrian territory.

The terrorist groups are not bound with any international agreement and are seeking their own interests by creating crisis, Ansari told a weekly press briefing.

If any ceasefire in Syria can serve as a means for the terrorists to gather their forces, then it will be endangered and the peace process will be hindered, he added.

Rebels from the Nusra Front, branded as a terrorist organisation by the United Nations, attacked the town of Khan Tuman in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Thursday and Friday, succeeding eventually in taking control of the town.

Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city and once an economic hub, has been carved out between the government in the western part of the city and the rebels in the east.

Iran, a major regional ally of the Syrian government in its fight against the militant groups, earlier announced the presence of its military advisers in Syria.



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