Russia reinstates 48-hour ceasefire in Aleppo

Published June 16th, 2016 - 05:00 GMT
Smoke rises from a Russian airstrike in Aleppo. (AFP/File)
Smoke rises from a Russian airstrike in Aleppo. (AFP/File)

Russia has announced a 48-hour ceasefire in Syria's northwestern city of Aleppo in an attempt to calm violence in the in embattled city.

"On Russia's initiative, a 'regime of silence' has been introduced in Aleppo for 48 hours from 00:01 on June 16 (2100 GMT Wednesday) with the goal of lowering the level of armed violence and stabilizing the situation," read a statement released by Russia's Defense Ministry late on Wednesday.

The statement went on to accuse al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front militants of launching rocket attacks in various parts of the city, including a tank attack in its southwestern parts.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, heavy fighting flared up to the south of the city on Tuesday, killing a total of 70 people on all sides of the conflict.

The announcement came after US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia and Syria over the continued clashes with the militants in the city.      

Aleppo has been divided between government forces in the west and militants in the east since 2012, a year after the conflict broke out in Syria.

Syria is currently observing a ceasefire brokered by Russia and the United States, which entered into force on February 27.

The truce was reached between the Syrian government and dozens of militant groups operating in the country. The ceasefire does not apply to the Daesh and al-Nusra Front militant groups.

However, renewed violence in some parts of Syria, particularly around Aleppo, has left the ceasefire in tatters in recent weeks and torpedoed peace talks on the conflict.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the original.


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