Aleppo ceasefire: The Syrian military announced last Thursday that a unilateral ceasefire backed by Russia had come into force to allow people to leave besieged eastern Aleppo. However, the rebels have said it is part of a psychological campaign to get them to surrender. Intensified Russian and Syrian bombing of besieged rebel-held parts of Aleppo in the past weeks has hit hospitals, bakeries and water pumping stations, and killed hundreds of civilians. Meanwhile, Russian warships off the coast of Norway are carrying fighter bombers that are likely to reinforce a final assault on the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo in two weeks, according to a senior NATO diplomat. The additional military firepower was designed to drive out or destroy the 8,000 rebels in Aleppo, the only large city still in opposition hands.