Rus­sia to ex­tend halt in Aleppo bomb­ing

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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. –

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