Russia, Syria halt airstrikes against Aleppo

Moscow, Oct 18 (IANS) Russian and Syrian air forces have halted airstrikes against Syria’s Aleppo on Tuesday ahead of a humanitarian pause set for Thursday, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

“This will ensure the safety of exit of civilians via six corridors and to prepare the wounded in the eastern part of Aleppo for evacuation,” Xinhua news agency quoted Shoigu as saying.

By the start of the humanitarian pause, Syrian troops will withdraw to a certain distance, allowing the militants with their weapons to freely leave eastern Aleppo by two corridors, he said.

He also urged countries that have influence on the armed groups in the eastern part of Aleppo to persuade their leaders to cease hostilities and leave the city.

The Russian Defence Ministry on Monday announced a pause in strikes against rebel-controlled areas in the city of Aleppo for eight hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 20.

Russian warplanes and Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have restarted strikes against rebel-controlled areas of Aleppo since the collapse of the ceasefire agreement reached between Moscow and Washington last month.

–IANS

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