U.N. Says 8-Hour Ceasefire for Aleppo Not Enough to Deliver Aid


The United Nations on Monday welcomed an eight-hour ceasefire in Aleppo announced by Russia as a needed respite for Syrian civilians, but said it was not enough to deliver humanitarian aid.

"We would welcome any pause in the fighting, but there is a need for a longer pause in order to get the aid in," said U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

The Russian military earlier said the pause in the bombing campaign would begin at 0800 local time (0500 GMT) Thursday to allow for free passage of civilians, evacuation of the sick and wounded and the withdrawal of fighters. 

The United Nations has repeatedly called for 48-hour weekly pauses to allow aid convoys to reach besieged civilians living in rebel-held east Aleppo.

"Any pause in the hostilities is positive for people who are living under bombs, who are being shot at and bombed," said Dujarric.

"What we are saying is that in order to get the humanitarian machine rolling in, we need more time."

Syria's second city, Aleppo has come under heavy bombardment since the Russia-backed Syrian military announced an offensive in late September to regain control of the east.

Dozens of civilians were killed as air strikes flattened residential buildings on Monday and the European Union warned that the bombing campaign could amount to war crimes.

The U.N. Security Council was due to meet later Monday to hear a report from U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura on the crisis over Aleppo, which has come under some of the most intense bombing of the five-year war.

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