The Russian and Syrian air forces have stopped airstrike on Aleppo as of 0700 GMT on Tuesday, Russia’s defense minister said, in a move he said was meant to pave the way for an eight-hour truce on October 20.
“Strikes in the Aleppo region by the Russian and Syrian air forces are stopping today starting at 10:00 am (local time),” Sergei Shoigu said in a televised briefing.
“The early cessation of air strikes is necessary to introduce a ‘humanitarian pause’ on October 20. This guarantees the security of civilians’ exit through six corridors and prepares the evacuation of the sick and injured from eastern Aleppo.”
Russia’s defense ministry said Monday that its forces and the Syrian regime would halt fire in Aleppo on Thursday for eight hours.
Shoigu on Tuesday called on countries that “have influence on armed groups in eastern Aleppo” to convince group leaders to cease hostilities and leave the city.
Shoigu said the initiative could “contribute to the success” of international military talks in Geneva on Wednesday on efforts to distance the so-called “moderate rebels” from Takfiri group Fateh al-Sham Front, which changed its name from Al-Nusra Front after allegedly renouncing its ties to Al-Qaeda.
Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said Monday that Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have agreed to take part in talks on “distancing rebels from the Syrian jihadist group.”