Russian Defence Ministry has announced a 48-hour ceasefire, starting from today, to help stabilise the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo. The announcement was made after US warned Syria and its supporter that they have to follow and respect the nationwide peace agreed during February 27.
The truce was reached between the Syrian government and dozens of militant groups operating in the country. The ceasefire does not apply to the Daesh and al-Nusra Front terrorist groups.
“On Russia’s initiative, a ‘regime of silence’ has been introduced in Aleppo for 48 hours from 00:01 16 June (2100 GMT on Wednesday) with the goal of lowering the level of armed violence and stabilising the situation,” a ministry statement said.
The statement did not specify with whom Russia has discussed the two-day ceasefire. The the last minute announcement came after US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia and the Syrian regime to respect a frayed ceasefire that has been severely tested around divided Aleppo. Russia provides air support to troops loyal to the Syrian regime as they fight the Syrian rebels and terror outfits.
“Unless we get a better definition of how this cessation is going to work … we are not going to sit there while Assad continues to offensively assault Aleppo and while Russia continues to support in that effort,” John Kerry told reporters in Oslo.
“The United States is not going to sit there and be used as an instrument that permits a so-called ceasefire to be in place while one principal party is trying to take advantage of it to the detriment of the entire process,” he added.
Russia provides air support to troops loyal to the Syrian regime as they fight the Syrian rebels and hardline fighters.
Since fighting erupted Tuesday south of Aleppo, some 70 fighters in total have been killed, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
“We are also prepared to hold accountable members of the opposition,” said Kerry in a meeting with the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif Khonsari.
A partial regime of peace agreed in February was disrupted in various parts of the country.
The eastern portion of Aleppo is under the control of Syrian rebels and has seen heavy fighting of the Syrian civil war.
UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which has also displaced over half of the Arab country’s pre-war population of about 23 million.
The UN says nearly 600,000 Syrians live in besieged areas, usually surrounded by government outfit.