UN planning to start evacuations from Aleppo if “unilateral truce holds”
United Nations expressed its hopes in carrying out the medical evacuations from Aleppo if a humanitarian pause holds in the civil war-torn city. The military offensive by Syrian Army and Russia have been active since last July.
The latest reports indicate that civilians were not responding to calls by the coalition forces to leave rebel-held areas of the city. Russians have accused the rebels of intimidating the civilians. The ceasefire declared for 11 hours, was later extended by Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. He declared that it would be extended “by 24 hours”.
The offensive to claim eastern parts of Aleppo back from the rebels have started in last July. The city has seen massive bombing which left 500 people dead and more than 2,000 injured. East Aleppo has been under rebels control since 2012.
Russia announced a halt to the air strikes from Tuesday and a unilateral ceasefire from Thursday.
It is reported that almost no civilians have used the eight corridors opened by Syrian army in rebel-held areas for leaving the conflict zones. Sporadic clashes after the declaration of ceasefire, forced people to remain in their residences.
UN humanitarian task force Chief Jan Egeland endorsed the permission given by Russia, the Syrian Government and rebels for medical evacuations. UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned on Thursday that food rations would run out by the end of October in Aleppo where no UN aid convoy has not entered since July.
Russia and Syria urged civilians to leave the rebel-held areas so that the offensive can focus on fighters of Al-Qaeda affiliate, the Fateh al-Sham Front. The two governments have made it clear that there would not be any pause in their offensive until the Jihadists depart.
Meanwhile, UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for a UN General Assembly emergency special session on Syria. UN Security Council has failed so many times to pass a resolution on the issue since Russia and China vetoed the moves. It was during Israel’s offensive in Palestine in 2009, such a session was called before.