Russia to extend halt in Aleppo bombing
MOSCOW has said that Russian and Syrian warplanes have not conducted any air strikes on the city of Aleppo for the past seven days and are upholding a moratorium on bombing.
“All flights by Russian and Syrian air forces have been completely halted in a 10-kilometre zone around Aleppo since October 18,” senior military official Sergei Rudskoi said.
A so-called “humanitarian pause” declared by Damascus and Moscow ran out on October 22, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported there were air strikes afterward against the opposition-controlled district of Sheikh Saeed.
Russia’s defence spokesperson Igor Konashenskov said earlier that six passages for civilians to leave rebel-held eastern Aleppo were still functioning and that 48 women and children left late on October 24.
Moscow had ruled out early moves to renew its total ceasefire in Aleppo after the brief halt ended, admitting few people had used humanitarian passages to leave the city and blaming failures by the US-led coalition.
Syrian doctors have deplored the failure to evacuate the wounded and sick from rebel-held areas of Aleppo, also blaming the UN for failing to guarantee their security.
More than 250,000 people are still living in the besieged area.
Nearly 500 people have been killed and more than 2000 wounded since the Syrian army, backed by Russian airpower, launched an operation to recapture eastern Aleppo on September 22.
Russia is a key ally of Syria’s government and began a military intervention in support of Bashar al-Assad in September last year.
UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon last week said no UN aid convoy has entered Aleppo since July 7 and food rations will run out by the end of October. –