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Russia announces humanitarian pause in Aleppo

CCTV.com

10-18-2016 10:09 BJT

The Russian Defense Ministry has announced a pause of strikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo for eight hours on Thursday. The humanitarian pause will be introduced from 08:00 until 16:00 local time. Russian Aerospace Forces and Syrian government troops will cease strikes.

“Though the U.S. refuses to differentiate between terrorists and the so-called ‘moderate opposition,’ Russia is working with the U.N. and nations that have influence on the al-Nusra Front to allow al-Nusra Front militants to retreat from Aleppo, according to the proposition by U.N. special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura,” said Lt.-General Sergei Rudskoy, Russian military general staff.

“It might take an extended period of time to reach agreement in every issue, so we’ve decided to waste no time and begin humanitarian pause so that civilians and the wounded can travel freely, and the militants can retreat as well.”

Rudskoy said Moscow is ready to cease fire and provide medical personnel at the request of humanitarian groups at any time. Russian warplanes and Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have been attacking the rebel-controlled districts of Aleppo since the collapse of the ceasefire agreement reached between Russia and the U.S. last month.

Rudskoy pointed out that the al-Nusra Front militants in Aleppo have been shooting at civilians trying to flee from its control. He said the militants are still getting access to advanced weapons.

Rudskoy also noted that 130 Syrian children have died under militant gunfire, criticizing certain Western countries for allowing civilian casualties. 

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