Russia announced yesterday that it had deployed 400 military policemen to Aleppo to protect Russian “military advisors”, Russian state-run news agency Sputnik reported.
The deployment of Russian military policemen comes in the wake of Aleppo being purged of much of its population and what was left of the armed Syrian opposition after intensive Syrian, Russian and Iranian ground and air attacks that claimed the lives of thousands of civilians and destroyed all hospitals and other civilian infrastructure, as well as homes.
A statement from the Russian defence ministry said: “Since yesterday night, we deployed a battalion of military police in the liberated areas [occupied Aleppo] with the objective of preserving security.”
The battalion will also help Syrian authorities in Aleppo to maintain law and order in the “liberated” city, the statement added.
First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Duma’s Defence and Security Committee, Franz Klintsevich, said that the battalion is a motorised infantry unit manning up to 400 servicemen.
Speaking to RIA Novosti, he added: “This battalion will also help organise and assist the political settlement [in Syria].”
Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday announced that Russia, Iran, Turkey and the Assad regime in Syria had all agreed to hold “peace negotiations” in the Kazakh capital of Astana at an undetermined point in the future.
In signs that the global and regional influence of the United States is receding, there are no indications that Washington has been invited to a seat at the table.