Russia begins ground, drone live webcast of Aleppo to monitor cease-fire

Russia-begins-ground-drone-live-webcast-of-aleppo-to-monitor-cease-fire.  MOSCOW,  Russia’s Ministry of Defense on Thursday said it began a live public webcast from cameras on the ground and on a drone in Aleppo to monitor the cease-fire.

The Syrian civil war has devastated parts of the country, including the besieged city of Aleppo. The war involves the Islamic State, the Syrian government and multiple Syrian rebel groups. In this image, a Syrian man looks for survivors under the rubble of destroyed homes in a suspected Russian airstrike in an Aleppo district in Oct. 15, 2015. On Thursday, Russia’s Defense Ministry began a live webcast of Aleppo to monitor a recent cease-fire. File Photo by Ameer Alhalbi/UPI | License Photo

A 48-hour cease-fire — supported by both Russia and the United States — between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and a consolidated group of Syrian rebels began on Monday. On Wednesday, the cease-fire was extended by another 48 hours though there are various reports of violations by both Assad’s regime and rebels.

“In order to ensure the transparency of compliance with the cessation of hostilities regime by all parties concerned in the territory of Syria the Russian Defense Ministry’s website on September 15, 2016 started telecasting the situation in Aleppo using video cameras,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Foreign Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said at a press conference, Russia state-run TASS news agency reported. “Online telecasting is already in progress from two cameras on the ground. Also, for the first time there has begun open online telecasting of the situation in the eastern part of Aleppo from a drone.”

The cameras on the ground are located in Aleppo’s al-Khalidiyah and Tel-Jobegja districts. Konashenkov said more video monitoring posts will be added later. Syria has been devastated by a complex civil war in which the Islamic State, the Syrian government and multiple Syrian rebel groups fight for control of territory.

The cease-fire, which does not include the Islamic State, will allow humanitarian aid to reach the millions of Syrians that require help due to the half-decade civil war. If the cease-fire holds for a week, the United States and Russia will begin steps to combine military operations to eliminate obstacles to peace — meaning joint operations could begin against militant groups the Islamic State and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as the al-Nusra Front.

By Andrew V. Pestano