Russia Warns Against US Attack on Syrian Forces

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Russia warned the United States Saturday against
carrying out any attacks on Syrian government
forces,
saying it would have repercussions across
the Middle East as government forces captured a
hill on the edge of the northern city of Aleppo
under the cover of airstrikes. Russian news
agencies quoted Foreign Ministry spokeswoman
Maria Zakharova as saying that a U.S. intervention
against the Syrian army “will lead to terrible,
tectonic consequences not only on the territory of
this country but also in the region on the whole.”
She said regime change in Syria would create a
vacuum that would be “quickly filled” by “terrorists
of all stripes.” U.S.-Russian tensions over Syria
have escalated since

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In this photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense
group known as the White Helmets, Syrians inspect
damaged buildings after airstrikes by government
helicopters on the rebel-held Aleppo neighborhood
of Mashhad, Syria, Tuesday Sept. 27, 2016. A year
after Russia waded into the war in Syria, aiming to
flex its national security muscles and prop up
beleaguered Syrian President Bashar Assad,
Moscow appears no closer to one of its military
goals: getting the U.S. to coordinate combat
operations in the civil war. And prospects of a
diplomatic resolution seem dim. (Syrian Civil
Defense White Helmets via AP)
Russia warned the United States Saturday against
carrying out any attacks on Syrian government
forces, saying it would have repercussions across
the Middle East as government forces captured a
hill on the edge of the northern city of Aleppo
under the cover of airstrikes.
Meanwhile, airstrikes on Aleppo struck a hospital
in the eastern rebel-held neighborhood of Sakhour
on Saturday, putting it out of service, according to
the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights and the Local Coordination Committees.
They said at least one person was killed in the
airstrike.
Russian news agencies quoted Foreign Ministry
spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying that a
U.S. intervention against the Syrian army “will lead
to terrible, tectonic consequences not only on the
territory of this country but also in the region on
the whole.”
She said regime change in Syria would create a
vacuum that would be “quickly filled” by “terrorists
of all stripes.”
U.S.-Russian tensions over Syria have escalated
since the breakdown of a cease-fire last month,
with each side blaming the other for its failure.
Syrian government forces backed by Russian
warplanes have launched a major onslaught on
rebel-held parts of Aleppo.
Syrian troops pushed ahead in their offensive in
Aleppo on Saturday capturing the strategic Um al-
Shuqeef hill near the Palestinian refugee camp of
Handarat that government forces captured from
rebels earlier this week, according to state TV. The
hill is on the northern edge of the Aleppo, Syria’s
largest city and former commercial center.
The powerful ultraconservative Ahrar al-Sham
militant group said rebels regained control
Saturday of several positions they lost in Aleppo in
the Bustan al-Basha neighborhood.
State media said 13 people were wounded when
rebels shelled the central government-held
neighborhood of Midan.
In the rebel-held portion of Aleppo, opposition
activist Ahmad Alkhatib described the hospital,
known as M10, as one of the largest in Aleppo. He
posted photographs on his Twitter account
showing the damage including beds covered with
dust, a hole in its roof and debris covering the
street outside.
A doctor at the hospital told the Aleppo Media
Center, an activist collective, that thousands of
people were treated in the compound in the past
adding that two people were killed in Saturday’s
airstrikes and several were wounded.
“A real catastrophe will hit medical institutions in
Aleppo if the direct shelling continues to target
hospitals and clinics,” said the doctor whose name
was not given. He said the whole hospital is out of
service.
Opposition activists have blamed the President
Bashar Assad’s forces and Russia for airstrikes
that hit Civil Defense units and clinics in the city
where eastern rebel-held neighborhoods are
besieged by government forces and pro-
government militiamen.
On Friday, the international medical humanitarian
organization Doctors Without Borders demanded
that the Syrian government and its allies “halt the
indiscriminate bombing that has killed and
wounded hundreds of civilians—many of them
children,” over the past week in Aleppo.
“Bombs are raining from Syria-led coalition planes
and the whole of east Aleppo has become a giant
kill box,” said Xisco Villalonga, director of
operations for the group. “The Syrian government
must stop the indiscriminate bombing, and Russia
as an indispensable political and military ally of
Syria has the responsibility to exert the pressure to
stop this.”
It said from Sept. 21 to 26, hospitals still
functioning in Aleppo reported receiving more than
822 wounded, including at least 221 children, and
more than 278 dead bodies—including 96 children
—according to the Directorate of Health in east
Aleppo.
Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom
criticized attacks on civilian targets writing on her
Twitter account: “Unacceptable to bomb civilians,
children and hospitals in #Aleppo. No humanity.
Assad & Russia moving further away from peace.”
In the eastern province of Deir el-Zour, warplanes
of the U.S.-led coalition destroyed several bridges
on the Euphrates river, according to Syrian state
news agency SANA and Deir el-Zour 24, an activist
media collective. The province is a stronghold of
the Islamic State group.

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