The United Nations announced on Thursday that Russia will stop bombing eastern Aleppo for 11 hours a day over the course of four days but said the proposal is insufficient to bring about a wider cease-fire under which militants would leave the besieged city.
Jan Egeland, UN’s Syria humanitarian adviser, told reporters on Thursday that the UN has received verbal assurances for the extension by a day — from three days previously — both from Russia’s diplomatic mission in Geneva and in writing from Russian military officials in Syria. “We hope it can be four days from tomorrow Friday,” he said.
The Syrian military also said a unilateral cease-fire backed by Russia had come into force to allow people to leave eastern Aleppo, a move rejected by rebels who say they are preparing a counter-offensive to break the blockade.
Recent airstrikes by Syrian air forces, supported by Russian jets, has killed several hundred people and flattened many buildings in Aleppo. Hospitals have also been hit, leading the United States and France to accuse Russia and the Syrian government of war crimes.