May 29, 2017

Syria conflict: ‘Exit corridors’ to open for Aleppo, says Russia

The UN has warned of a critical situation for about 300,000 people still in Aleppo

Corridors are to be opened to allow civilians and unarmed rebels to leave the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo, Russia – Syria’s key ally – has said.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu described the move as a “large-scale humanitarian operation”.

Three routes would be for civilians and fighters who give up their weapons and a fourth for armed rebels.

Government forces have encircled Aleppo, cutting off rebel-held areas and severing all supply routes.

Rebel forces fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad have held eastern parts of the city for the past four years.

The UN has warned of a critical situation for about 300,000 people still there.

UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien said on Monday that “food supplies are expected to run out in mid-August and many medical facilities continue to be attacked”.

Mr Shoigu said the latest move was “first and foremost to ensure the safety of Aleppo residents”.

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