Russia Says Air Strikes On Aleppo Halted; US Dismisses Gesture

At a regular meeting of foreign ministers from the EU's 28 member states today several ministers said sanctions against Russia would have no impact and could even be counterproductive in the search for an overall settlement to the conflict in Syria. (Reu

Russia Says Air Strikes On Aleppo Halted; US Dismisses Gesture

Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi said Monday that Russian and Syrian forces will halt their fighting from 8 4 p.m. on October 20 in order to allow civilians and rebels safe passage out of the city as well as for the evacuation of the sick and wounded.

Syrian troops will withdraw from parts of Aleppo to allow opposing forces to leave the city via two corridors specially prepared for this goal, he said. He says the suspension is meant to prepare for the opening of humanitarian corridors for the rebels to leave Aleppo.

Speaking at a briefing in Moscow, Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoy, a senior Defense Ministry official said: "On Oct. 20 from 8:00 until 16:00, a humanitarian pause will be implemented in the area of Aleppo".

United Nations humanitarian spokesman Jens Laerke said on Tuesday that the United Nations did not have the security guarantees it requires to carry out humanitarian operations in eastern Aleppo or evacuate sick and wounded people from the Syrian city.

A UN.spokesman said a pause in fighting in Aleppo would be welcomed, but agencies would require more than eight hours to get aid into the city.

Moscow made no mention of such a pause on Friday.

De Mistura's grave warning came as the skies above Aleppo fell quiet Tuesday morning ahead of a planned, unilateral ceasefire, which saw Russian jets grounded to set the stage for a "humanitarian pause" later this week.

Russian and Syrian forces have been bombarding rebel-controlled areas of Aleppo since an internationally brokered cease-fire collapsed last month. In recent days, hundreds of civilian have died amid the Syrian army's renewed offensive on rebel-controlled sections of eastern Aleppo.

The Local Coordination Committees said 30 people were killed and dozens wounded when Russian warplanes attacked the village.

The Aleppo Media Center, an activist group, reported that airstrikes struck the eastern parts of the city Sunday and Monday.

They had no immediate word on casualties.

Syrian and Russian militaries say they only target militants.

Military officials from different countries will meet on Wednesday in Geneva to begin separating "terrorists" from the moderate opposition, Shoigu said.

Moscow has urged Washington to encourage Syria's Western-backed rebels to sever ties with al-Qaida militants.

Member of the Syrian National Coalition Michel Kilo told Asharq Al-Awsat that Russia's announcement could not be separated from the worldwide denunciations against Moscow's behavior in Aleppo.

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