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Russia’s strikes around Aleppo to continue: Interfax

A Foreign Ministry official said Moscow will continue its air strikes even if a ceasefire agreement in Syria is reached

Published: Updated:

Russia will continue its air strikes around Aleppo even if a ceasefire agreement in Syria is reached, the Interfax news agency reported on Monday, citing a Russian Foreign Ministry official.

On Sunday, a top Syrian opposition figure criticized Russia for continuing with its bombing in Syria, insisting that people in the country need to see action rather than words.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, meanwhile, said in an interview that Moscow does not plan to maintain its military presence in Syria indefinitely.

In an interview with Time magazine Medvedev was asked if Russia would help its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in his stated aim of restoring his control over all of Syria.

"We have no plans... for such a never-ending presence in Syria. We are there pursuing an entirely limited, concrete objective," Medvedev said, according to a transcript of the interview released by the government.

Last week, Medvedev said all powers must sit at the negotiating table to forge an end to the war in Syria “instead of unleashing a new world war.”

“The Americans and our Arab partners must think well: do they want a permanent war?” Medvedev told Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper, due to be published on Friday. It would be impossible to win such a war quickly, he said according to a German translation of his words, “especially in the Arab world, where everybody is fighting against everybody.”

“All sides must be compelled to sit at the negotiating table instead of unleashing a new world war,” he said.

He said the United States and Russia must exert pressure on all sides in the conflict in order to secure a ceasefire.

Russia is carrying out bombing sorties around the key city of Aleppo, in support of advances by troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. U.S. and other Western air forces are also involved in air strikes in northern Syria.