Putin extends humanitarian pause in Aleppo to evacuate injured people and allow militants to withdraw from city

Moscow, SANA – Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to extend the humanitarian pause in Aleppo in order to evacuate injured people and allow militants to withdraw from city.

Peskov said that Putin didn’t authorize the resumption of airstrikes on terrorists’ positions in Aleppo, thereby extending the humanitarian pause, as Putin considers resuming airstrikes in Aleppo to be no useful currently, adding that this pause and suspension of Russian and Syrian aerial operations only cover Aleppo.

The Spokesman said that Putin made the decision based on evaluations of the Russian General Staff and data on developments on the ground, and the Russian President believes that there’s a possibility for extending the pause in order to evacuate injured people and allow militants to withdraw from city, and that will also allow Washington to fulfill its obligations regarding separating the “moderate opposition” from terrorists.

Peskov didn’t mention any timeframe for the pause nor when the airstrikes may be resumed in Aleppo.

Earlier today, the Russian General Staff announced that it has asked President Putin for permission to resume airstrikes on terrorists’ sites in Aleppo.

“Due to the fact that civilians continue to die, militants have renewed active hostilities against government forces, we have appealed to the Supreme Commander of the Russian Armed Forces to resume airstrikes on illegal armed groups in eastern Aleppo,” chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate Lt. Gen. Sergey Rudskoy said.

“All flights by Russian and Syrian warplanes inside the ten-kilometer zone around the city have remained paused for a tenth day running, although the situation around Aleppo remains complicated,” he said.

“Today, the groups of militants took advantage of the moratorium on the employment of Russian and Syrian aircraft in the area of Aleppo and made an attempt to break through into the city’s eastern part. The offensive was conducted by three groupings west of Aleppo with the support of 20 tanks and 15 IFVs. All this was accompanied by hammering fire from rocket systems and artillery,” Rudskoy said, adding that “militants” from the eastern parts of Aleppo and their protectors organized an attack on a humanitarian corridor.

Manar al-Frieh/Manal / Hazem Sabbagh

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