Syrian air strikes on Aleppo halted: Russian foreign minister

Moscow, RussiaUpdated: Dec 08, 2016, 08:05 PM IST

A Syrian government soldier gestures a v-sign under the Syrian national flag in eastern Aleppo. Photograph:(Reuters)

The Syrian army has suspended its attack on Syria’s Aleppo to allow the evacuation of civilians, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

"I can tell you that today, combat operations by the Syrian army have been halted in eastern Aleppo because there is a large operation underway to evacuate civilians," he said in Hamburg, Germany,Russian news agencies reported.

"There is going to be to a column of 8,000 evacuees" travelling five kilometers (3 miles), Lavrov added, attending a meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the announcement was "an indication that something positive could happen", news agency AFP reported.

Lavrov also  announced that US-Russia military and diplomatic discussions would take place in Geneva on Saturday "to end the work... to define the means of resolving the problems of east Aleppo".

According to Lavrov, The discussions would involve studying plans to evacuate civilians and fighters wanting to leave.

Rebel fighters are struggling to their last strongholds in their control.

Lavrov’s statement came after six countries including the US called for an immediate ceasefire citing a humanitarian catastrophe in Aleppo and called on Russia and Iran to use their influence on the Syrian regime to secure a truce.



(WION with inputs from AFP)