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Russian, Syrian aircraft stop airstrikes in Aleppo area — defense minister

Civilians can leave Aleppo via 6 corridors, 2 corridors will be open for militants
Aftermath of an airstrike in Aleppo, Syria EPA/THOMAS RASSLOFF
Aftermath of an airstrike in Aleppo, Syria

MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. Russian and Syrian aircraft have stopped airstrikes in Aleppo area from 10 a.m. (07:00 GMT) Tuesday to introduce a humanitarian pause on October 20,  Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday. 

"Today the airstrikes of Russia’s Aerospace Forces and Syria’s Air Force stop in the Aleppo area from 10 a.m.," the minister said. "The long-term suspension of airstrikes is necessary to introduce a "humanitarian pause" on October 20," he said.

This will allow "guaranteeing security of exit via six corridors for civilians and preparing for evacuation of those ill and wounded from the eastern part of Aleppo," he said.

"We turn to the leadership of the countries having influence on the armed units in the eastern part of Aleppo with a proposal to convince their leaders to stop combat actions and leave the city," Shoigu said.

"By the start of a "humanitarian pause" the Syrian forces will be withdrawn to the distances allowing militants to freely leave eastern Aleppo with arms via two specially created corridors: the first on the Castello road and the second in the area of market Souq al Hai," he added.

Russia’s military announced plans to organize a "humanitarian pause" in Aleppo on Monday. Thus, the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian army will stop delivering strikes from 08:00 a.m. to 16:00 Moscow time on October 20, Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoi, the chief of the main operations directorate of the Russian General Staff, said.

Military experts to start work on separating opposition from terrorists

Accordintg to the minister, military experts from a number of countries will tomorrow start work in Geneva on separating opposition from terrorists in Syria’s Aleppo.

He said that Russian experts had already arrived in Geneva "for joint work."

According to Shoigu, the Russian initiative to introduce a "humanitarian pause" in Aleppo on October 20 should "contribute to the success of the military specialists’ work due to start tomorrow in Geneva."

"This work will be aimed, first and foremost, at separating terrorists from the ‘moderate opposition’, and their withdrawal from eastern Aleppo. A group of Russian military specialists has already arrived in Geneva for the joint work," the minister said.

Shoigu added that all the parties interested in the stabilization of the situation in Aleppo "should start taking practical steps rather than carrying on with political performances."