05:29 GMT +301 May 2017
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    Smoke rises from reported opposition fire from buildings in an eastern government-held neighbourhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo

    'Western-Backed' Syrian Rebels Not Letting Aleppo Civilians Leave Conflict Zone

    © AFP 2017/ GEORGE OURFALIAN
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    Terrorists in Aleppo are continuing to shell humanitarian corridors. Since a humanitarian pause came into effect on Thursday, the corridors have been under frequent shelling and sniper fire.

    On Saturday, it was reported that al-Nusra Front terrorist group and Ahrar al-Sham rebels what are considered to be "moderate" by the West are not letting the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) mission to evacuate the wounded from eastern Aleppo.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has called on all the countries who could influence the militants in Aleppo to urge them to allow international humanitarian missions access to the city.

    All humanitarian corridors that should be used by civilians and militants to leave Aleppo are blocked by militants. The corridors are constantly under militants' fire, Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy, the chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate, said.

    The humanitarian pause was aimed to ensure the safe evacuation of unarmed militants and civilians from eastern Aleppo through eight humanitarian corridors. The Russian General Staff said earlier that the pause was extended for one day, from 08:00 to 16:00 local time on Saturday.

    It is no surprise that the shelling of the humanitarian corridors continues because Western-backed rebels are not interested in ending the violence, said Catherine Shakdam, director of programs at the Shafaqna Institute of Middle Eastern Studies.

    "We’re stuck in the same vicious cycle, where you have Western powers accusing Russia, Iran, and of course Damascus of not allowing civilians to run away from the conflict zone. But then at the same time, when there is a ceasefire agreed upon, and a humanitarian corridor is set up, then this happens. And those moderates are backed by Western powers," she said in an interview with RT.

    She underscored that the West and Western media do not want to admit that Russia and Damascus are trying to help civilians in Aleppo. Instead, they accuse them of committing war crimes.

    As for Western powers, "it has been proven time and time again on the ground by this simple fact that they are backing and supporting those so-called moderates, who are in fact terror radicals – they are the ones enabling them; they are the ones committing war crimes – not the other way around," she added.

     

    Meanwhile, on Friday, the Russian General Staff said that terrorists used the humanitarian pause in Aleppo to reinforce and prepare new attacks onthe outskirts of the city.

    "A group of over 1,200 militants, including 30 suicide-bombers, is preparing an attack on Aleppo from south-west. They have tanks, armored vehicles and over 20 pickups with heavy machine guns," Rudskoy said.

    Related:

    Russia's Decision on Humanitarian Pause in Aleppo 'Independent' - Kremlin
    Extension of Humanitarian Pause in Aleppo Depends on Saturday's Developments
    US State Department Welcomes Plans to Extend Humanitarian Pause in Aleppo
    Moscow Hopes Authors of UN Resolution on Aleppo Will Stop Supporting Jihadists
    Tags:
    humanitarian corridors, shelling, Ahrar ash-Sham, Al-Nusra Front, Syria, Aleppo
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