Pressing the pause button: Russia stopped its attacks on Aleppo


The silence in Aleppo

The Minister of defence of Russia Sergei Shoigu announced the introduction of the “regime of silence” in Aleppo October 18. From 10am Tuesday Air and space forces of Russia and the Syrian air force has ceased to strike at the city.

The ceasefire introduced in anticipation of a “humanitarian pause” in Aleppo, intended for the evacuation of the population of the city, explained Shoigu. On the eve of the General staff stated its readiness to declare such pauses since October 20. Early termination shock is necessary in order to guarantee safety for the civilians and prepare for evacuation of sick and wounded from the Eastern part of Aleppo, said the head of the defense Ministry.

Shoigu stressed that the “humanitarian pause” meant, including to the city could leave not only civilians, but also insurgents. The Minister urged “the leaders of the countries with influence on armed groups in Eastern Aleppo” to convince the leaders of the two parties to stop fighting and leave town.

By the beginning of the “humanitarian pause” Syrian troops “will be available on the course, allowing the militants to freely leave Eastern Aleppo with weapons,” said Shoigu.

For the evacuation of residents of Aleppo of Russian air force and Syrian air force will organize two special corridor. One of the corridors will be opened in the district of Souk El-Hai, and the second will be on the road Costello, announced on 17 October the head of the main operations Directorate of the General staff of the Armed forces of Russia Sergey rudskoy.

A gesture of goodwill

Moscow hopes that the suspension of flights of aircraft over Aleppo will be used for the disengagement of the moderate opposition from the terrorists, said Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “This is a goodwill gesture in the hope that the announced pause will be used to finally dissociate from “Dzhebhat-EN-Nusra” and others like her, those armed groups that supported US,” — said the Minister.

The Kremlin stop the attacks and the announcement of a humanitarian pause also called the goodwill of the Russian military. Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said that such a move is “an obvious extension of the efforts of Russia aimed at breaking the deadlock in Aleppo”.

The press Secretary did not answer the question of whether to resume airstrikes on the city after the end of the humanitarian pause

“Late step”

The U.S. state Department spokesman mark Toner called the plan of the General staff of Russia on the introduction of a “humanitarian pause” of late. “It’s good, but honestly, it’s a bit too little, too late”, he said.

Federica Mogherini, high representative of the Union for foreign Affairs and security policy, called Russia’s decision a “humanitarian pause” to “positive”.

Press Secretary of the UN Stefan Dujarric said that the organization welcomes “any pause which will actually be realized.” He also added that Russia has proposed eight hours is not enough to ensure the arrival of trucks with humanitarian organizations in Aleppo.

Jan Egeland, assistant for humanitarian issues, the UN special envoy on Syria, 17 October warned that preparations for the 20 Oct the humanitarian pause, UN remains too little time. From his point of view, a humanitarian organization will be ready to help the residents of Aleppo “a day later than Thursday”.

Signs of the crimes

On the eve of the announcement of the plan of commissioning the “humanitarian pause” in Lausanne, a meeting was held the meeting of foreign Ministers of member countries of the European Union in the framework of the EU Council. The result of this meeting on the Agency’s website published a statement saying that the air strikes on Aleppo by the Syrian military and allied officials in Damascus are signs of war crimes.

The statement said that air strikes by the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad and his allies in Aleppo lead to a “catastrophic escalation of the conflict”. The foreign Ministers of the EU countries condemned the bombing of hospitals, schools and other infrastructure, as well as the use of chemical weapons and cluster bombs.

Earlier in American and European press, there were reports that at the last October 17 meeting of foreign Ministers of the EU diplomats from different countries will discuss the need for the introduction of new sanctions against Russia.

However, released the results of the meeting document information about the possible introduction of new anti-Russian sanctions there, and Federica Mogherini, head of EU diplomacy, said that none of the EU countries do not put forward proposals on new sanctions against Moscow.

The situation in Aleppo

After the breakdown of the ceasefire in Syria, which Moscow and Washington agreed on 9 September, the situation in Aleppo has intensified, human rights activists and residents reported an increased number of bombings.

Currently, the Russian space forces support air offensive on Aleppo by the Syrian army, which announced its intention to fully clear the city of militants. Western countries impose on Russia responsible for the civilian casualties and strikes on civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals. In the United States and Brussels, the situation in Aleppo is described as a “humanitarian catastrophe”.

In Moscow, similar accusations. Russian authorities also report that countries in the coalition against the “Islamic state” (banned in Russia) can not properly affect the process of the disengagement of militants from the official opposition.

October 17, Associated Press with reference to human rights defenders reported that as a result of regular bombardment of Aleppo, killing 13 people, including five children. Human rights activists say the strikes have caused the Russian air force, however, the Russian defense Ministry insists that the objectives of the bombing are the only terrorist targets, and the military are taking all measures to avoid casualties among the civilian population. A large number of victims among the inhabitants in Moscow associated with the actions of the militants.

So, according to the chief of the main operations Directorate of the General staff of the Armed forces of Russia Sergey Rudskoy, October 15 in the areas of Malindi and Bustan al-Qasr, under the control of militants, while trying to exit 30 civilians terrorists were executed 10 people.

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