US Welcomes Extension of Humanitarian Pause in Aleppo - State Department
The United States welcomes the extension of the humanitarian pause in Aleppo announced by Russia, US Department of State deputy spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters on Monday.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Russia has recently backed a number of humanitarian pauses in Aleppo, with the latest one entering into force on Friday.
"What we are seeing, you've obviously seen the news reports as well, that Russia actually extended self-proclaimed ceasefire in Aleppo," Toner said. "Of course, we welcome any pause in the fighting there, and any end of the violence even temporary, but I've seen no indications that there is any intent to make some kind of drive for Aleppo."
However, the Russian Defense Ministry said that a humanitarian corridor around the western part of the Castello road in Aleppo was shelled by militants on Friday, causing injuries to two Russian servicemen.
A local television broadcaster reported also on Friday that militants were preventing civilians from leaving the besieged areas of Aleppo.
Aleppo has been the scene of fierce battles between Syria's army and militants holding the city's eastern districts, while international aid groups have expressed concern about residents trapped in their homes.
Russia introduced an earlier humanitarian pause in October to ensure safe evacuation of civilians and unarmed militants from eastern Aleppo through designated corridors.
That pause collapsed when the jihadist group Jabhat Fatah al Sham, previously known as the Nusra Front, prevented civilians from fleeing Aleppo and attacked them, prompting the government to take offensive action.
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