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No crossings in Aleppo as rebels bombard exit points

Green buses waiting to evacuate people from east to western Aleppo amid a humanitarian 'ceasefire' have so far had no passengers, as rebel groups continue to bombard the crossing areas.

Buses are waiting to transport people Credit: ITV News

The Syrian military has opened two exit corridors in designated areas in the Bustan al Qasr quarter and near the Castello road in northern Aleppo, and has repeatedly broadcast reassurances to people they will be "guaranteed" safe passage on one of the green buses.

But ITV News correspondent Dan Rivers said so far, nobody has crossed - and said he had seen rebel mortar fire nearby.

"Buses ready to 'evacuate' civilians from east - so far no one has crossed," he wrote on Twitter.

"A rebel mortar just landed 50ft from us. No injuries thank God."

The Syrian army has assured people they will be able to cross safely Credit: ITV News

Rebels have accused the military of organising the pause in fighting as part of a "psychological campaign" to get them to surrender.

They claim the government wants to empty the area of citizens to make it easier to target rebel fighters.

Aleppo bakery destroyed in overnight bombing

A Syrian bakery filmed by ITV News yesterday has been reduced to rubble by bombing overnight.

Now reduced to rubble, a bakery stood here yesterday Credit: ITV News

As a 'humanitarian pause' in fighting got underway in Aleppo at 8am, gunshots and mortar fire could still be heard echoing across the besieged city.

ITV News correspondent Dan Rivers said he spotted a rebel rocket lying on the ground near where the bakery stood.

A rebel rocket was spotted nearby Credit: ITV News


Gunfire as Syrian army 'guarantees safety' in ceasefire

The Syrian army has used loudspeakers to reassure citizens they will be "guaranteed" safe crossing from eastern to western Aleppo, amid a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to enter.

In Arabic, the announcement encouraged people to "come back to the lap of the homeland" - but even as it was broadcast, accompanied by upbeat music, rebel gunfire could be heard.

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'Up to 200 YPG fighters killed' in Turkish airstrikes

Up to 200 fighters from the Syrian Kurdish militia have been killed in a series of airstrikes by Turkish jets, the country's army has said.

In a statement, Turkish army officials said 26 strikes were carried out on 18 YPG targets in northern Syria, hitting areas recently captured by the militant group.

Nine buildings were destroyed, along with one armoured vehicle and four other vehicles. The army said between 160 and 200 fighters were killed.

However, Syrian Kurdish leaders denied the figure, saying no more than 10 fighters had been killed.

Turkey formally entered the Syrian conflict in August, backing Free Syrian Army rebels opposing President Bashar al-Assad in claiming territory held by the so-called Islamic State group.

Mortar fire in Aleppo as 'humanitarian pause' begins

The sound of gunshots and mortar fire echoed across the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo this morning, as a "pause" in warfare was due to begin to allow humanitarian aid to enter.

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ITV News correspondent Dan Rivers and news editor Jonathan Wald are in a hotel in the city.

Dan shared an image on Twitter showing one of their windows shattered either by a bullet or a piece of shrapnel from the ongoing fighting.

"@jonathanwalditn crouches near his shattered window - hit by either shrapnel or bullet. Shooting is getting too close for comfort," he wrote.

Jonathan Wald's hotel window in Aleppo was shattered Credit: ITV News

The Syrian military has insisted the unilateral ceasefire has come into force as planned, with exit corridors opened in two designated areas in the Bustan al Qasr quarter and near the Castello road in northern Aleppo.

Rebels have accused the military of organising the pause in fighting as part of a "psychological campaign" to get them to surrender.

Aleppo ceasefire offer as Russia 'prepares for assault'

The Syrian regime has offered a ceasefire in the war-torn city of Aleppo, but it remains unclear whether any such break in the fighting will happen.

A senior NATO diplomat has said Russian warships off the coast of Norway were carrying fighter aircraft that are likely to reinforce a final assault on Aleppo in two weeks.

The last ceasefire fell apart in September, and since then Russian and Syrian forces have undertaken a massive bombing campaign against eastern Aleppo in which hospitals have been destroyed and hundreds of civilians killed.

ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers reports from Aleppo:


Kerry plays down hopes of new Syria ceasefire

Russian Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry meeting earlier this month. Credit: Reuters

US Secretary of State John Kerry has played down expectations of a new ceasefire agreement between Syria and Russia.

His comments come as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syria's President Bashar al-Assad discussed a "humanitarian pause" in the Syrian city of Aleppo, according to a Kremlin spokesman quoted by Russian news agencies.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Mr Kerry said: "I'm not approaching this with a high sense of expectation and nothing is based on trust."

Syrian Army set to observe temporary ceasefire in Aleppo

Men carry their belongings from their damaged home in Aleppo. Credit: Reuters

The Syrian Army is observing a temporary ceasefire in Aleppo to alleviate the humanitarian situation.

Syria's Foreign Ministry added the army has pulled back and have created two designated corridors to enable rebel fighters to leave the city.

"The government will use all means to stabilise the situation in Aleppo and transfer civilians without restrictions and bring in humanitarian aid."

They said Russia, who are backing the Syrian Army in Aleppo, will observe a temporary ceasefire on Thursday.

However ITV News is on the ground and have reported shots are still being fired in the city.

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