MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia is ready to continue introducing humanitarian pauses in Syria’s Aleppo on request, but only if it has information on willingness to withdraw the wounded and civilians, the Russian General Staff said Tuesday.
According to Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate, the calls to the leaders of opposition to allow withdrawal of civilians and the wounded, as well as militants, were left unanswered.
"We are ready to continue introducing humanitarian pauses upon the first request, but only if we have credible information on readiness for withdrawal of the wounded, the sick and civilians," he told at a briefing.
Russia, Syria to Extend Moratorium on Airstrikes in, Around Aleppo
The moratorium on Russian and Syrian airstrikes in the 10-kilometre radius (6.2 mile radius) around Aleppo, effective since October 18, will be extended, the Russian General Staff said Tuesday.
"I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the flights of the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Forces have been completely halted since October 18. The moratorium on airstrikes of the Russian and the Syrian aviation will be extended," Rudskoi said.
On October 18, Russia, which has been assisting Damascus in fighting extremists from air, halted its airstrikes around Aleppo ahead of anticipated humanitarian pause. On October 20, Russia announced the humanitarian pause in the city from 08:00 to 16:00 local time, so both civilians and militants could leave the besieged eastern districts, and aid convoys could safely get through to those who remain there.
However, the militants refused to leave the city, and al-Nusra Front, outlawed in Russia, prevented civilians who wanted to flee the city, attacking people, during their attempts to flee Aleppo.
Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to President Assad fighting numerous opposition groups and terrorist organizations such as Daesh and al-Nusra Front. Since the war's beginning it has claimed lives of thousands of people and displaced millions more. The international community has undertaken steps to end the Syrian conflict and to solve the humanitarian crisis in the Middle Eastern country.
Russia Convinced Syrian Army to Ignore Militants' Provocations, Not Fire Back
Russia managed to convince the Syrian army to ignore provocations and not open fire in return to the militants’ attacks, the Russian General Staff said Tuesday.
"We managed to convince the command of the Syrian army to ignore provocations and not fire back at militants," Rudskoy said.
According to the official, the representatives of the United Nations were unable to negotiate the withdrawal of civilians from eastern Aleppo during the humanitarian pause.