Russia and Syria stop bombing Aleppo to allow people to escape besieged city


Russia and Syria stop bombing Aleppo to allow people to escape besieged city

Aleppo has been reduced to rubble in the conflict (Picture: AP)

Russia has announced that Russian and Syrian warplanes are halting airstrikes on the besieged city of Aleppo.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu says the airstrikes were suspended starting from 10 am (8am GMT) on Tuesday.

He says the suspension is intended to prepare for the opening of humanitarian corridors for the rebels to leave Aleppo.

Russia says its forces and the Syrian army will observe a ‘humanitarian pause’ between 8 am and 4pm on Thursday, to allow civilians and militants safe passage out of the city.

At that time, Syrian rebels, including al-Qaida militants, as well as the wounded and the sick will be allowed to leave to the neighbouring rebel-held province of Idlib.

TOPSHOT - EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / A Syrian man reacts next to the foot of a child sticking out out from under the rubble of a building following bombardment on the al-Marja neighbourhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on September 23, 2016. Missiles rained down on rebel-held areas of Syria

Many children have been killed in the fighting in Aleppo (Picture: Getty)

Shoigu urged the countries wielding influence with the rebels in Aleppo to persuade them to leave the city.

UN humanitarian officials have pleaded with combatants to observe weekly 48-hour cease-fires to allow humanitarian relief into the city’s besieged eastern districts, but Russian and Syrian forces have only escalated their aerial and ground assault on the rebel-held areas in recent weeks.

The airstrikes have claimed hundreds of lives, wounded many, flattened apartment buildings and laid waste to the already crippled medical sector.