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UN says Aleppo ceasefire fails to guarantee aid-worker safety

Russian and Syrian air forces stopped bombing Aleppo as of 0700 GMT on Tuesday [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 October, 2016

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The UN has said that Russia's plan for an Aleppo ceasefire will not include much-needed relief entering rebel-held east of the city unless the safety of aid workers is guaranteed.

The United Nations has said that Russia's plan for a ceasefire will not mean much-needed relief will enter rebel-held eastern Aleppo because Russia and the Syrian regime have failed to guarantee the safety of aid workers.

UN spokesman Jens Syria said on Tuesday that the Syrian regime would also need to overturn its decision last week to refuse to allow aid into the eastern part of the city, where the UN estimates 275,000 civilians and 8,000 rebel fighters are trapped.

"We need assurances from all parties to the conflict, not just a unilateral announcement that this will happen. We need everybody to give us those assurances before it is immediately useful for us to do anything meaningful," Laerke said at a regular briefing in Geneva

Laerke added that Russia had told the UN the ceasefire was for eight hours on more than one consecutive day.

"That was my understanding, that it was supposed to be a beginning."

Last month, a Russian air raid hit a 31-truck convoy bringing aid to a town west of Aleppo, killing nearly 20 people.

Russian and Syrian air forces stopped bombing Aleppo as of 0700 GMT on Tuesday, after pre-dawn strikes hit several rebel-held neighbourhoods killing at least 14 civilians.

Russia's defence minister claimed the suspension was intended to prepare for the opening of humanitarian corridors for the rebels to leave Aleppo.

Leading up to Tuesday's brief halt, however, Russian and Syrian regime warplanes pounded rebel-held areas of Aleppo, killing at least 14 civilians.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin will head to Berlin on Wednesday for a summit focusing on escalating tensions between Moscow and the West over the Kremlin's strategy in Ukraine and Syria.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said no options could be taken off the table ahead of the talks.

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