UN to begin evacuations from Aleppo if truce holds

AFP October 22,2016 - 08:48 AM
10-22 truce

Free Syrian Army fighters on the outskirts of the northern Syrian town of Dabiq in this October 15, 2016 photo./AFP

ALEPPO, Syria – The United Nations hopes to carry out the first medical evacuations from Aleppo on Friday, if a “humanitarian pause” in the Syrian army’s Russian-backed assault on the city holds.

Despite a drop in violence after the unilateral ceasefire took effect on Thursday, there was little sign civilians were heeding calls to leave opposition-held areas of the city, and Russia accused the rebels of intimidation.

The unilateral ceasefire was initially described as lasting just 11 hours, but Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced late Thursday that it would be extended “by 24 hours,” leaving it unclear exactly when it will end.

East Aleppo, which the rebels captured in 2012, has been under siege by the army since mid-July and has faced devastating bombardment by the government and its ally Russia since the launch of an offensive to retake the whole city on September 22.

Nearly 500 people have been killed, more than a quarter of them children, since the assault began. More than 2,000 civilians have been wounded.

The scale of the casualties has prompted outrage in the West, with Washington saying the bombardment amounted to a possible war crime.

Russia announced a halt to its air strikes from Tuesday and the unilateral ceasefire from Thursday./AFP

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: Aleppo, East Aleppo, humanitarian pause, Russia, Sergei Shoigu, Syria, unilateral ceasefire

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.