Mercy in Aleppo: Russia plans ceasefire before FINAL push

Mercy in Aleppo: Russia plans ceasefire before FINAL push
Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoy speaks during a news briefing in Moscow, Russia, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Sergei Rudskoy, Russia’s General Staff main operations directorate chief, has announced that Russian and Syrian forces will pause their siege of ISIS held Aleppo for eight hours Thursday to allow jihadists and civilians to flee.

  • Military pause in Aleppo planned from 8am till 4pm local time on October 20.
  • Western backed proxies (ISIS, al-Nusra, and FSA) have not agreed to honor terms.
  • Rudskoy: “We [Russia] are prepared to cease fire and ensure the unhampered access of medical personnel to the city and ensure the evacuation of the injured and sick as soon as we get a request from humanitarian organizations.” 
  • "We call upon the leadership of the militants to defuse approaches to humanitarian corridors and to enable the population to evacuate northeastern Aleppo.
  • “All civilians who leave the city are guaranteed full security, medical and other assistance, as well as temporary shelter.”
  • “In addition, the people will be provided with hot meals and basic necessities.”
  • Two corridors in Eastern Aleppo will be opened for withdrawal of forces. 
  • Moscow is ready “to discuss any initiatives and proposals for a settlement in Aleppo.”
  • One running along the Castello Road and the other in the souq-market area in the south of the city.

(ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA) Russian and Syrian armed forces will pause attacks on the Syrian city of Aleppo for eight hours on Thursday so that civilians and rebels can leave the city, the Russian defense ministry said on Monday.

"On Oct. 20 from 0800 (1 a.m. ET) until 1600, a humanitarian pause will be implemented in the area of Aleppo. For that period, Russia's air force and Syrian government forces will halt air strikes and firing from other weapons," said Russian defense ministry official Sergei Rudskoy.

Speaking at a briefing in Moscow, Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoy told media: 

”We [Russia] are prepared to cease fire and ensure the unhampered access of medical personnel to the city and ensure the evacuation of the injured and sick as soon as we get a request from humanitarian organizations.” 

"We call upon the leadership of the militants to defuse approaches to humanitarian corridors and to enable the population to evacuate northeastern Aleppo. All civilians who leave the city are guaranteed full security, medical and other assistance, as well as temporary shelter. In addition, the people will be provided with hot meals and basic necessities.”

According to Rudskoy, Moscow is ready “to discuss any initiatives and proposals for a settlement in Aleppo.”

Rudskoy added:

“We understand that the coordination of all issues can a take long time. Therefore, we decided not to delay a decision and initiate a ‘humanitarian pause,’ primarily for the free passage of civilians, the evacuation of the sick and wounded, as well as the withdrawal of fighters.” 

Addressing “the leaders of illegal armed groups [ISIS] and [their] sponsors [West],” Rudskoy said that they will be able to leave eastern Aleppo unhampered during the pause through two corridors, one running along the Castello Road and the other in the souq-market area in the south of the city.

Rudskoy said Russia will drop leaflets to inform the civilian population left in Aleppo, and the ISIS/al-Nusra jihadists hiding among them, of the tactical pause.

Rudskoy noted this was not a ceasefire persay, but rather an action of mercy toward the civilians caught in the crossfire. “Given the situation, a unilateral ceasefire makes no sense, since Jabhat al-Nusra and groups allied to it will once again be given a breather, will regroup and restore their military capability," he said.

This article was contributed by Reuters

Please contact TRUNEWS correspondent Edward Szall with any news tips related to this story.
Email: Edward.Szall@trunews.com | Twitter: @EdwardSzall | Facebook: Ed Szall 
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