The past weekend in Syria was dominated by a tragic, provocative surge of violence.
On April 15, in a suburb of Aleppo, Rshidin, a suicide bomber attacked a bus convoy with refugees from the Shiite enclaves of Fuah and Kafriya in the province of Idlib. According to the latest information, the terrorist managed to drive a car bomb next to a parked column of buses by pretending to be an aid worker bringing food and gifts for children. As a result of the terrorist attack, over 130 people, including 68 children, were killed.
Recall that last week, the parties started to implement agreements on removing militants from illegal armed formations and members of their families from the cities of Madaya and Zabadani in the DamascusGovernorate, and Shiite militiamen with families from the villages of Fuah and Kafriya surrounded by al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham in the Idlib Governorate. This agreement was reached with the mediation of Qatar and Iran. The Syrian government clearly fulfilled its obligations: buses with evacuees from Madaya and Zabadani freely left the territory controlled by the Syrian authorities on April 14. As for al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham, the evacuation from Fuah and Kafriya, which they were responsible for, went very slowly and with disruptions. The convoy was evacuated under mortar fire at the initial stage and then was stopped just a few kilometres from the government checkpoint. That was when the tragic attack took place.
We strongly condemn this barbarous terrorist attack on a convoy of refugees. We believe that this crime should be met with the proper response from all members of the international community. Undoubtedly, this attack was made possible by the unconstructive approaches of the West to issues of combating international terrorism in Syria. An unambiguous example of double standards was the act of US military aggression against sovereign Syria on April 7. This heartened the terrorists and convinced them that they could operate with impunity.
For its part, Russia will continue to resolutely fight terrorism in Syria and assist all those Syrians who, irrespective of their political views, are ready to sincerely seek a peaceful resolution to the military and political conflict in Syria and a consolidated front against terrorists from ISIS, al-Nusra, and other groups in the mould of al-Qaeda.