On Monday, Russian defense ministry official Sergei Rudskoy announced that the Russian military will take a “humanitarian pause” from bombing the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo this week. According to the BBC, Moscow will “halt operations in Aleppo on Thursday for an eight-hour span between 08:00 (05:00 GMT) and 16:00.”
“For that period, Russia’s air force and Syrian government forces will halt air strikes and firing from other weapons,” Rudskoy said. The pause is intended to allow civilians and rebels to leave the city before bombing begins again. Though Rudskoy said that Russia is working toward a solution to the Aleppo problem, “Reaching an agreement on all issues may take a long time.”
The pause was announced just one day after a Russian air strike killed 14 members of one family, including five children, in a rebel-held neighborhood of Aleppo. According to the Syrian search and rescue group known as the White Helmets, most of the people killed in the attack were women and children. The White Helmets are still searching for more than a dozen people that may still be trapped beneath the rubble. This attack brings the death toll in Aleppo over the past 24 hours to at least 47 people, most of which were in the Qaterji neighborhood.