Humanitarian pause takes effect in Syria’s Aleppo with exit corridors

Some 2,700 people have been killed or injured in rebel-held Aleppo in the past month, monitors say
Some 2,700 people have been killed or injured in rebel-held Aleppo in the past month, monitors say

A “humanitarian pause” in attacks on rebel-held eastern Aleppo – part of a plan to allow civilians and fighters to leave – has come into effect.

The unilateral truce, announced by Russia, will last until at least 19:00 (16:00 GMT). Eight exit corridors have been designated from the east.

Russian and Syrian air strikes have been halted since Tuesday.
Rebels have rejected the plan and there are reports of clashes at one of the corridors out of the east.

Last month, Syrian government forces encircled the eastern section and launched an all-out assault backed by Russia.

Some 2,700 people have been killed or injured in the bombardment since then, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group. Some 250,000 civilians have been trapped by the fighting.

Western leaders have said Russian and Syrian air strikes on Aleppo could amount to war crimes.

French President Francois Hollande repeated the allegation at talks on Wednesday’s with Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. Mrs Merkel condemned the strikes as “inhumane”.

Russia has rejected the accusation as “rhetoric” that does not take into account the realities in Syria.

In other developments, the Turkish military says its jets have attacked a Kurdish militia north of Aleppo, killing up to 200 fighters. The casualty figure has not been confirmed.

The Kurdish YPG is supported by the US in their fight against so-called Islamic State but Turkey regards them as terrorists.

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