On Thursday, some Russian officials have made the announcement that the Syrian Army has stopped the offensive in Aleppo. According to them, they took this decision in order to allow civilians to escape the city. However, locals are saying that this is not true, as fighting still goes on in Aleppo.
Russia says fighting has ceased
Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, was the one who announced that the fighting has ceased in the divided city of Aleppo. He said this after a meeting in Germany with other foreign officials. The Syrian army along with their allies have managed to recapture three quarters of the city. Rebels have held the city under their command for four years. According to Lavrov, this ceasefire would allow around 8 000 locals to escape Aleppo. What is interesting is that the United States have long doubted Russia’s sincerity in regard with the situation in Aleppo. Now it seems like the U.S. officials are willing to listen to what Moscow has to say.
An UN envoy told reporters that for the moment it is not possible to check whether or not fighting has indeed stopped in Aleppo. Also, he added that the Syrian government should allow every civilian to leave under the strict protection of the UN. Soon after his declarations, the Security Council discussed the issue. According to them, the government might be able to retake the rest of the city too by the end of the year. Also on Thursday, many doctors in Aleppo said that they could not help civilians with anything more than first aid.
Civilians are saying that fighting goes on
However, the residents in Aleppo which are still in the rebel districts have said that they cannot run because fighting still goes on. Everybody was panicking because just a day earlier, around 150 airstrikes reportedly took the lives of more than 50 people. Authorities reached these locals by telephone or text messages and they were saying that drones were flying and explosions could be heard. Also, that nobody received any news of an evacuation.
The Red Cross announced that they have managed to save around 140 people from a now government-held part of Aleppo. They also reportedly recovered 11 bodies of people who sadly died due to lack of medical care. The organization White Helmets said that the forces must avoid a massacre at any costs. According to them, the bombs which fell in various neighborhoods of Aleppo contained chlorine, which is a chemical that has been banned. Because of those, many people became very ill.
A United Nations initiative
The United Nations, led by Canada, are trying to force a ceasefire too. They are going to vote a resolution draft destined to stop hostilities for an unknown period. This would also allow humanitarian aid to intervene and help residents.
All in all, it seems like the situation in Aleppo in still uncertain and dangerous for civilians. It should not be like this and residents should be allowed to escape at any costs. This war has taken enough lives. People should not die anymore.
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