Russia and Syria stop airstrikes in Aleppo for ‘humanitarian pause'
The Russian and Syrian air force stopped carrying out airstrikes in the area of Aleppo from 10 a.m. (07:00 GMT) on Oct. 18 in order to establish a "humanitarian pause" on Oct. 20, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has said.
"Today the airstrikes of Russia’s Aerospace Forces and Syria’s Air Force will stop in the Aleppo area from 10 a.m.," said Shoigu. "The long-term suspension of airstrikes is necessary to introduce a 'humanitarian pause' on Oct. 20," he said.
This will allow "the guaranteeing of security of exit via six corridors for civilians and preparing for evacuation of those ill and wounded from the eastern part of Aleppo," he said.
"We turn to the leadership of the countries with influence on the armed units in the eastern part of Aleppo with a proposal to convince their leaders to stop combat actions and leave the city," said Shoigu.
"By the start of the 'humanitarian pause' the Syrian forces will be withdrawn to a distance, allowing militants to freely leave eastern Aleppo with arms via two specially created corridors: the first on the Castello road and the second in the area of the Souq al Hai market," he continued.
Russia’s military announced plans to organize a "humanitarian pause" in Aleppo on Oct. 17.
The Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian army will stop carrying out strikes from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Moscow time on Oct. 20, said Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoi, the chief of the main operations directorate of the Russian General Staff.
In comments on the Russian initiative, the United Nations said it welcomes any pause in combat actions. The U.S. Department of State said the move is "a good thing, but frankly it's a bit too little, too late."