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SYRIAN ARMY ANNOUNCES “HUMANITARIAN PAUSE” ON FRIDAY

DAMASCUS, Syria,The Syrian army announced on Wednesday, a 10-hour-long "humanitarian pause" that is scheduled to go into force on Friday (tomorrow).

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

The statement said, the rebels can leave Aleppo through the Castello road in northern Aleppo, and the Souk al-Khair crossing, towards rebel-held areas in the north-western 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.

On Wednesday (yesterday), the rebels in eastern Aleppo killed tens of people who wanted to evacuate rebel-held areas.

The Jaish al-Fateh rebels, or the Army of Conquest, are practising extortion against civilians who want to leave Aleppo, asking them for money in exchange of allowing them to leave.

High sums of money are requested from civilians who want to leave, and that the rebels permit civilians under 14 and over 55 years old to leave, for 300 U.S. dollars per person.

This claim was based on a leaked statement by the Jaish al-Fateh, explaining the "extortion" process.

It said, the group admitted that the money they will be collecting from the people will be used to buy weapons and munitions.

Last Friday, at least 12 rebel groups launched a broad offensive on government positions in western Aleppo, engaging in violent battles with the Syrian army and allied fighters.

The battles kept raging as the rebels succeeded to infiltrate some areas, without achieving a breakthrough. But on Monday, the Syrian army responded with a counter-offensive, managing to strip the rebels of some of the areas they had taken in western Aleppo.

The rebels' aim, behind the major offensive, was to break the government force's siege on eastern Aleppo.

The rebel attempt failed to achieve its goal so far.

Source: Nam News Network