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Russia extends Aleppo humanitarian pause

October 21, 2016, 17:27 UTC+3

Meanwhile, Syrian militants have built up an armor-backed force of over 1,200 men to launch an offensive against Aleppo, and the militants have started getting shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles

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© AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen

MOSCOW, October 21. /TASS/. The humanitarian pause in Aleppo has been extended by one day, it will be in force from 8am to 7pm on October 22, Head of the Main Operations Directorate at Russia’s General Staff, Sergey Rudskoi, told reporters on Friday.

"Under instructions from the Russian president, the humanitarian pause in the Aleppo area will be extended by 24 hours - from 8am to 7pm on October 22," he said.

The Russian Defense Ministry hopes that all parties concerned will influence gunmen to rescue civilians in eastern Aleppo who are "actually held hostage by terrorists," Rudskoi added.

Armor-backed force of 1,200 militants ready to attack Aleppo

The military official pointed out that militants in Syria have built up an armor-backed force of more than 1,200 men ready for mounting an offensive against Aleppo. Also, the militants have started getting shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles.

"More than 200 militants have arrived in the Mansura and Qarasi communities and quarter 1070 over the past 24 hours. All in all, a group numbering more than 1,200 men, including 30 suicide bombers, has been massed up for an attack against Aleppo from the southwest. The militants have tanks, armored vehicles and 20 pickup trucks carrying large-caliber machineguns," Rudskoi said.

Terrorists spare no effort to prevent civilians and armed groups members from leaving eastern Aleppo

According to Rudskoi, the moderate opposition and its curators are obstructing normalization of the situation in Syria’s Aleppo, while the US provides no reaction to Russia’s calls to exert influence on militants in Aleppo to make them stop attacks along humanitarian corridors.

The general said terrorists are sparing no effort not to let civilians and armed groups members leave eastern Aleppo.

"All our calls on the American partners to exert positive influence on militants of the so-called opposition and talk them into stopping shelling, letting civilians leave the city or leaving it themselves are yet unanswered. As a result, the humanitarian corridors for civilians leaving the city are still blocked by terrorists who conducted aimed fire at them," he said.

According to Rudskoi, militants are shelling residential quarters in western Aleppo, including areas around the humanitarian corridors, from mortars and multiple missile launcher systems. "During the day, eight civilians were killed and more than thirty were wounded in shelling by terrorists. Three officers of the Russian reconciliation center were lightly wounded in one of the attacks," he said.

Terrorists never stop repression of civilians, the Russian general stressed. Thus, Ahrar al-Sham terrorists on Thursday publicly executed on 14 local self-government officials who called on people to use the humanitarian corridors to leave the city’s eastern districts.

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