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Defense Ministry reports militants in eastern Aleppo use civilians as ‘human shield’

November 23, 2016, 19:09 UTC+3

The ministry's spokesman stresses resumption of humanitarian pauses in Aleppo possible if the UN guarantees militants ready to cease fire

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© EPA/ZOUHIR AL SHIMALE

MOSCOW, November 23. /TASS/. Terrorists in eastern Aleppo use civilians as a ‘human shield’, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday.

"The main objective of the humanitarian pauses being used in Aleppo is to extend assistance to civilians in the eastern areas, whom the terrorists are still keeping hostage as a human shield," he said.

Militants use pauses in Aleppo to continue attacks

Konashenkov went on to say that militants might use humanitarian pauses in Syria’s city of Aleppo to intensify their attacks.

"Every day, intensive shelling by militants of Aleppo’s residential areas kill dozens, including children," Konashenkov said. "In this situation, improperly prepared humanitarian pauses will again be used by terrorists to replenish their stocks and continue intensive attacks.".

Resumption of humanitarian pauses in Aleppo possible if UN guarantees militants ready to cease fire.

"The primary condition for resuming humanitarian pauses in Aleppo is that the UN provides solid guarantees that the militants will cease fire, humanitarian aid convoys will have access to the city and the wounded and sick civilians will be evacuated. None of the UN representatives has given such guarantees yet," the general said commenting on the recent statement of UN humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland in which he said that humanitarian pauses could be resumed next week.

The Russian defense ministry spokesman pointed out that the main goal of humanitarian pauses in Aleppo was providing real assistance to residents of the eastern part of the city whom the militants had been using as human shields. "Unfortunately, the militants realize it well so they have planted mines on the approaches to the humanitarian corridors and open fire at everyone who comes close," the general noted.

Konashenkov explained that the militants could take advantage of new humanitarian pauses in Aleppo to continue massive attacks.

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