The United Nations says Russia is prepared to prolong its recently-declared pause in fighting in Aleppo in a bid to facilitate the entry of humanitarian convoys into the northwestern Syrian city.
The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday a halt to fighting around Aleppo for three hours each day to facilitate aid deliveries.
In response, Jan Egeland, chairman of a UN humanitarian task force on Syria, expressed hope that fighting could stop for a longer period.
“Today in the meeting the Russian delegation confirmed their willingness to sit down with us to try to agree on a workable humanitarian pause,” Egeland said after chairing a weekly meeting of the task force.
He also called for 48-hour weekly pauses, saying, “We need 48 hours because the people are so many that the convoys have to be big, the road is so destroyed, it is mined, there are so many dangers, the logistics are so enormous that we do need time – each week we need 48 hours.”
Meanwhile, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura expressed concerns about up to two million civilians trapped in the embattled city, adding that the issue has been repeatedly raised at the task force meetings.
“The Russian reaction here at the taskforce was ‘we heard you, (and) we need to talk in order to see how we can improve our original proposal’,” he pointed out.
The UN envoy further noted that the daily three-hour pause in Aleppo fighting was “not enough.”
Fighting continues in Aleppo
The remarks come at a time that fighting rages on between Syrian army soldiers and terrorists over the control of Aleppo, which has been divided since 2012 between government forces in the west and the militants in the east.
On Thursday, Syrian armed forces, backed by allied forces, made fresh gains against terrorists in southern Aleppo.
They managed to wrest control of a number of positions in the area surrounding military academies and the 1070 Apartments Project in the city.
An unnamed military source told Syria’s SANA news agency that the pro-government troops killed a large number of militants and inflicted heavy losses on the extremists.
Since March 2011, Syria has been gripped by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies.
The Takfiri terrorists operating in the Middle Eastern state have suffered major setbacks over the past few months as the Syrian army has managed to liberate several areas.
By Press TV