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Ankara and Moscow want cease-fire in Syria, but Russia will continue to fight to 'rescue' Aleppo

Reuters , AP , Thursday 1 Dec 2016
Syria
Syrian refugee students sing a song during a lesson at a school in Nizip refugee camp, near the Turkish-Syrian border in Gaziantep province, Turkey, November 30, 2016. (REUTERS Photo)
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Russia will continue its operations in eastern Aleppo and will rescue the Syrian city from terrorists, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday during a visit to Turkey.

Speaking at a joint press conference after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in the Mediterranean town of Alanya, Lavrov said Russia would continue efforts to allow humanitarian aid into Aleppo, according to a Turkish translation of his comments.

Cavusoglu said he and Lavrov had agreed on the need for a ceasefire in Aleppo and the rest of Syria, although he said Turkey's stance on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was clear.

Russia is a main backer of Assad, while Turkey supports the rebels fighting to oust him. The rebels have come under siege in eastern Aleppo after rapid advances by Syrian government forces, bringing them to the brink of a major defeat.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says his country and Russia want a cease-fire in Syria, where the two nations support opposing camps in the conflict.

Cavusloglu said "we are in agreement that a cease-fire is needed so that the tragedy can come to an end."

The conflict has played out tragically in the divided city of Aleppo, where tens of thousands, mostly women and children, have been displaced from their homes in rebel areas since Saturday.

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