Syrian army announces ‘humanitarian pause’ on Friday

Damascus, Nov 3 (IANS) The Syrian army has announced a 10-hour-long “humanitarian pause” that is scheduled to go into force on Friday, according to officials.

The general-command of the Syrian army on Wednesday said it had decided to observe a “humanitarian pause” on Friday from 9.00 a.m. until 7.00 p.m., to give civilians and rebels also a chance to leave rebel-held areas in eastern Aleppo city, Xinhua news agency reported.

The statement said the rebels can leave Aleppo through the Castello road and the Souk al-Khair crossing toward rebel-held areas in the province of Idlib.

The civilians can also leave through six passages the army had previously identified to government-controlled areas in western Aleppo.

The new, brief truce is not the first to be announced by the Syrian army.

Last month, a three-day truce, unilaterally announced by Russia and the Syrian government, failed to achieve its intended goal of giving the civilians a pause to leave rebel-held areas and also failed to push the rebels to leave Aleppo city.

The Syrian government then accused the rebels of forcefully preventing the departure of civilians from eastern Aleppo.