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Russia, Syria forces halt Aleppo bombing

Russia has repeatedly demanded that the Syrian rebels break off from extremist groups, as a condition to revive a ceasefire

Published: Updated:

A short truce seems to be faltering in Syria's Aleppo, after activists reported Syrian activists say warplanes struck two rebel-held villages shortly after Russian and Syrian airstrikes were halted.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Ibrahim Alhaj, a spokesman for the Civil Defense, say that Tuesday's airstrikes hit villages of Anadan and Daret Azzehe.

They had no immediate word on casualties.

Russia had said there would be an eight-hour “humanitarian pause” in the battered city, a move welcomed by the United Nations and the European Union which nevertheless said the ceasefire needed to be longer to allow the delivery of aid.

“Strikes in the Aleppo region by the Russian and Syrian air forces are stopping today starting at 10:00 am,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a televised briefing, adding that the measure was “necessary” to pave the way for the truce.

“This guarantees the security of civilians’ exit through six corridors and prepares the evacuation of the sick and injured from eastern Aleppo,” he said, adding that it would also guarantee safe passage for armed rebels to leave eastern Aleppo.

Turkey, Qatar, and Saudis join Aleppo truce discussions

Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have agreed to military talks with the United States and Russia on efforts to distance Syrian opposition fighters from extremist groups in order to facilitate implementing the truce.

Russia has repeatedly demanded that the Syrian rebels break off from extremist groups, as a condition to revive a ceasefire in the battleground city of Aleppo.

“Those countries did express their intention to work hard with those moderate opposition groups in order for them to be separated from Al-Nusra,” Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters.

More than 430 people have been killed in bombardment on the eastern half since the assault on Aleppo was announced on September 22, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

(With Agencies)