The Council of the EU was adding high-ranking military officials over the alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians. “On 20 March 2017, the Council added 4 high-ranking military officials to the list of those targeted by EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime. The EU added these 4 persons for their role in the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population, in line with the EU’s policy to fight the proliferation and use of chemical weapons”, the statement said.
Syrian government forces have retaken the areas lost yesterday in Damascus during an anti-regime offensive, according to state news agency SANA, citing the General Staff of the Armed Forces. According to the General Staff, loyalist forces retook control of the “points where terrorists had infiltrated”, referring to opposition militants. Members of al-Qaeda also participated in the anti-government offensive on Sunday in the Jobar quarter.
On Wednesday, the Russian center for reconciliation of warring sides in Syria announced that Syria’s government forces have regained control over 15 districts of the city of Aleppo, retaking 70% of the city’s eastern part from militants. AP reported that the militant groups entrenched in eastern Aleppo asked the Syrian government for an immediate ceasefire, citing the need to evacuate wounded fighters as Syrian forces advanced deeper into the militant-held areas. According to the proposal, the truce is needed to facilitate the evacuation of the wounded militants to the northern part of the Aleppo province controlled by Turkey. The Syrian government rejected the proposal, insisting that the militants should leave the city. Meanwhile, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the militants are still free to leave Aleppo and that this proposal is still in force. In the meantime, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russia is still holding talks with the Syrian opposition. On Wednesday Sergey Lavrov met his US and German counterparts, John Kerry and Frank-Walter Steinmeier respectively, in Hamburg, on the sidelines of the OSCE foreign ministers’ meeting, particularly to discuss the situation in Syria. Furthermore, on Wednesday evening, six Western nations (UK, France, Italy, Germany, USA, Canada) pushed for an immediate ceasefire in Aleppo on Wednesday.