Russia vows daily ceasefire in Aleppo to allow aid deliveries
Published 10/08/2016 | 19:06
The Russian military has declared that fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo will cease for three hours daily to allow humanitarian aid deliveries.
Lt Gen Sergei Rudskoi said the daily ceasefires will be observed from 10am to 1pm local time from Thursday.
Lt Gen Rudskoi said Russia supports the UN's proposal to oversee the aid deliveries, adding that the Russian military is discussing the issue with UN experts and the US military.
He told a briefing that humanitarian convoys will be formed near Handarat and will move on the strategic Castello road.
The Syrian army won control of the Castello road last month and cut the main supply link to rebel-held parts of Aleppo as government troops laid siege to the city. Opposition groups breached the siege over the weekend.
Lt Gen Rudskoi did not say whether the rebels have agreed to respect the halt in hostilities, or explain how they would be enforced.
In Washington, US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said all parties to the Syrian conflict must abide by the UN request to ensure access for humanitarian supplies.
"We would welcome any pause that successfully facilitates delivering of vitally needed humanitarian supplies, but such a ceasefire must be observed by all parties," she said.
"All supplies, including food and medical supplies, as determined and requested solely by the UN, need to be delivered now."
At the United Nations, humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien said 48 hours and a two-lane road are the minimum requirement for getting sufficient humanitarian aid into Aleppo.
"When we're offered three hours, then you have to ask what could be achieved in those three hours?" he told reporters.
"Is it to meet the need or will it only just meet a very small part of the need? And clearly, from our point of view, we're there to meet the need, all the need, and we need to have sufficient capacity to do that."