According to the head of the Main Operations Directorate of the Armed Forces of Russia, Lieutenant-General Sergey Rudskoy, Russia reserves the right to use military force against those who violate the ceasefire in Syria, as published on the Russian Ministry of Defense’s website on Monday, March 21st.
"Military force will be applied only after receiving credible evidence of systematic violations by armed groups of the commitments made in the framework of the Joint US-Russian statement on the cessation of hostilities in Syria on February 22nd, 2016", he said.
He recalled that on March 5th, the US submitted a compromise agreement to Russia to jointly monitor the ceasefire in the war-torn country.
“However, the Russian-American consultations held in Amman on March 18th revealed the unpreparedness of the American side to substantively discuss and agree on the text of the compromise agreement,” the report stated.
Although Russian President Vladimir Putin announced last week that the majority of Russian forces would be withdrawn from Syria, Russia has decided to retain its airbase in Khmeymim and has upgraded its naval facility in Tartus. Despite Putin’s announcement, Russia continues to carry out airstrikes against the so-called Islamic State and al-Nusra Front in support of Syrian government forces in the territory around Palmyra, carrying out 20-25 sorties daily.
Though Russia has insisted that their forces in Syria have targeted positions of the so-called Islamic State and al-Nusra Front, they have been accused of bombing moderate, western-backed opposition groups. Amnesty International has accused the Russian military of deliberately targeting civilian areas in Syria, resulting in some of the most “egregious war crimes” the human rights organization has seen in decades.