Russian Federation extends 'humanitarian pause' in Aleppo


However, rights group Amnesty International said that the UN General Assembly (UNGA) "must step in to fill the void left by the Security Council members' catastrophic failure to end relentless attacks targeting the civilian population in eastern Aleppo city". Pro-government channels broadcast footage of ambulances and green busses parked at empty reception points in government Aleppo, said to be waiting for civilians and fighters from the city's east.

The Russian defence ministry has said the ceasefire would enable civilians and armed rebels to leave the city's rebel-held east through six corridors.

By midday Friday, no evacuations were seen along the Aleppo corridor.

He told reporters that the Russian pause was "being used simply for them to regroup and further their own stranglehold over Aleppo". "People are anxious they might be detained".

The United Nations had hoped to use the truce to evacuate injured people from the city, and possibly deliver aid.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation announced on Friday evening that the humanitarian pause in Aleppo has been extended for another 24 hours in response to requests by the United Nations and other global organizations. Rebels have, however, scoffed at the ceasefire saying that there is no surety that they will not be arrested.

Zeid did not name Russian Federation or the Syrian air force, whose jets have attacked the rebel-held districts of Aleppo for weeks, but his reference was clear.

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The UN Human Rights Council has agreed to launch an "independent special inquiry" into events in the Syrian city of Aleppo, where the top UN rights official says air strikes constitute war crimes.

The "collective failure of the worldwide community to protect civilians and halt this bloodshed should haunt every one of us", he added.

Syria's army and Russian Federation have called on residents and rebels in besieged eastern Aleppo to quit the city and depart for other insurgent-held districts under a promise of safe travel. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his U.S. counterpart John Kerry discussed the ongoing conflict in Syria and its embattled city of Aleppo in a phone call on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, Sputnik News reported.

The Syrian opposition and rebels have said the humanitarian pause provides no guarantees for their safety and they would not comply. He spoke to the AP Thursday in Paris, on the sidelines of a ministerial summit.

Almost 500 people have been killed and about 2 000 injured. "These shocking acts in Aleppo beg for an appropriate investigation and those who commit them must be held accountable", he said. The sound of gunfire and shelling reverberated in the Syrian capital.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there had been clashes overnight along frontline neighborhoods of rebel-held east Aleppo: in Jab al-Jalabi in the Old City, in al-Ithaa and in Salah al-Din.