Russia, Syria halt airstrikes against Aleppo


Military experts from a number of countries were to meet Tuesday in Geneva to discuss how to separate terrorists from moderate opposition groups and get them to leave Aleppo, he said.

Russian Federation is calling on countries with influence on Syrian opposition groups to intensify efforts to separate moderate forces from terrorist entities in besieged eastern Aleppo in a draft statement submitted to the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday. We have prepared a draft press statement ... and hope it will be approved by the members of the [UN Security] Council, " Churkin told journalists.

Churkin added, that it was also highly important to prevent providing individuals and groups that were associated with the terrorist groups, designated by the UN Security Council, with material and financial support.

Moscow announced a "humanitarian pause" tomorrow to allow civilians and militants safe passage out of the city.

Moscow announced on Tuesday that Russian and Syrian air forces have stopped bombing Aleppo ahead of a brief truce, a move the Kremlin said showed "goodwill" as it faces mounting criticism for backing a brutal regime offensive.

Earlier this month, Russian Federation vetoed a French-drafted resolution demanding an immediate halt to the bombing campaign that the Syrian government and Russian Federation are carrying out against rebel-held districts in eastern Aleppo.

"The UN and its partners have been and remain ready to proceed with urgent medical evacuation, provide urgent life-saving assistance when all security assurances are provided", he said.

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Britain's letter to the 47-member forum said the special session was needed "following the most recent deterioration of the human rights situation in Aleppo, and the failure of the Assad regime and its allies to fulfil their global human rights commitments", the United Nations statement said.

"Strikes in the Aleppo region by the Russian and Syrian air forces are stopping today starting at 10 a.m.", Sergei Shoigu said in a televised briefing.

President Vladimir Putin is set to face Western pressure over the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine at global talks in Berlin on Wednesday as Russian Federation comes under increasing criticism over its support for Damascus. Syrian rebels, including al-Qaida militants, as well as the wounded and the sick will be allowed to leave to the neighboring rebel-held province of Idlib.

But as the air strikes stopped on the city, they continued as usual against nearby rebel-held villages including Anadan and Daret Azzeh. Syrian activists had no immediate word on casualties.

In Moscow, Shoigu added that Russian Federation is "asking the countries wielding influence with the (Syrian) rebels ... to persuade their leaders to end fighting and leave the city".

Russia's announcement did not include any promises of an extended cease-fire or local administration in and around Aleppo.

Later, a United Nations spokesman said that despite the planned "humanitarian pause" in the bombing of Aleppo, the United Nations lacks the time and sufficient safety assurances to begin providing aid to the besieged city.