On Thursday afternoon, the Russian military announced the Aleppo truce would be extended by 24 hours. In turn, civilians are allowed to evacuate from the city’s besieged eastern districts, effectively avoiding collateral damage during an upcoming Syrian Arab Army (SAA) offensive to retake Aleppo entirely.
— Murad Gazdiev (@MuradGazdiev) October 20, 2016
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said President Vladimir Putin had ordered the extension to 16:00 (13:00 GMT). Thereby, no airstrikes will target rebel-held areas of Aleppo until Friday afternoon.
Unfortunately, local rebels have rejected the truce and in several cases blocked residents from leaving through the city’s 8 newly established humanitarian corridors. Earlier today, a SAA corridor checkpoint was even shelled by an unknown rebel faction.
Nevertheless, UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland said he hoped hundreds of sick and wounded could be evacuated by the deadline. Mr Egeland said he hoped the first of “several hundred” people most in need of medical help could be brought out on Friday with the help of the World Health Organization and the Red Cross.