Syrian Army. AFP File Photo.
The Syrian military is preparing to undertake an operation against opposition forces in Aleppo with Russian air support, said Syria's Prime Minister Wael al-Halaki on Sunday.
"We, together with our Russian partners, are preparing for an operation to liberate Aleppo and to block all illegal armed groups which have not joined or have broken the ceasefire deal," he said according to Russia's Tass news.
"Russian aviation will help the Syrian army's ground offensive operation," Dmitry Sablin, a member of the upper house of Russia's parliament, told Russia's RIA news agency.
Such a move will likely put both the Syrian ceasefire and peace talks under considerable strain. The initial Geneva talks this year fell through in February when the Syrians launched a ground offensive around Aleppo with Russian air support, they were restarted after the Americans and the Russians negotiated a ceasefire which was implemented on February 27.