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Thousands hit but Russia says no to US call for truce in Syrian city of Aleppo
Tuesday December 13, 2016 8:25 AM, Agencies


The US proposal for implementing a ceasefire in the Syrian city of Aleppo is not acceptable to Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said here on Monday.

An estimated 100,000 civilians are trapped in the eastern section of the city amid continued bombing in the city. Large numbers of civilians are also reportedly fleeing the al-Sukkari neighborhood after intense shelling. The exodus of residents coincided with regime forces advancing.

In addition, there are reports of civilian casualties as a result of the shelling, according to media organizations with teams in Aleppo.

Russia, which is "assisting" the Syrian government's offensive to expel rebels from East Aleppo, thinks it is necessary to define in advance the corridors to be used by the rebels in leaving the besieged city, EFE news quoted Lavrov as saying in Serbian capital.

"We can coordinate this with Americans very quickly. We undertake commitments to guarantee that these corridors won't be attacked by Syrian armed forces, while Americans undertake commitments together with their regional allies to get militants' consent to leave eastern Aleppo via these safe corridors," he said.

But the US, after initially endorsing the Russian plan, subsequently insisted on implementing the truce immediately without prior coordination, the Foreign Minister said.

"We have already gone through this. This will mean that militants will once again get a respite," Lavrov said.

"I hope they will stop sparing gunmen, that the United States as a serious power will use its influence on militants and on those who control gunmen apart from Washington, and that we will finally be able to solve this problem, honestly and caring first of all for the civilian population," he added.

Lavrov travelled to Belgrade for bilateral talks with the Serbian government and for a meeting on Tuesday of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Council.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon released a statement saying: "The secretary-general is alarmed over reports of atrocities against a large number of civilians, including women and children, in recent hours in Aleppo. While stressing that the United Nations is not able to independently verify these reports, the secretary-general is conveying his grave concern to the relevant parties."



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