Russia says no air strikes on Aleppo in 7 days

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Moscow (AFP): Moscow said Tuesday that Russian and Syrian planes have not conducted any air strikes on Aleppo for the last seven days despite a three-day truce ending at the weekend.

“Over the last seven days all flights by Russian and Syrian air forces have been completely halted. The planes are not going near the city and not carrying out strikes,” military spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement Tuesday.

After the humanitarian pause ran out at 1600 GMT on Saturday, air strikes hit the opposition-controlled district of Sheikh Saeed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported, however.

Russia’s defence spokesman said that six passages for civilians to leave rebel-held east Aleppo are still functioning and that 48 women and children left late Monday.

Russia on Monday ruled out early moves to renew its ceasefire in Aleppo after the brief halt ended, admitting that few had used humanitarian passages to leave the city and blaming failures by the US-led coalition.

Ahead of the ceasefire, Russian and Syrian planes had stopped bombing on Tuesday last week.

Russia is a key ally of Syria’s government and began a military intervention in support of President Bashar al-Assad last September.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem is set to hold talks with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Friday.

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