Russia and Syria plan 'temporary halt' to Aleppo siege

The planned stay in bombing is intended to allow civilians to leave the city Credit: Reuters

Russian and Syrian armed forces will temporarily halt attacks on the Syrian city of Aleppo for eight hours on Thursday to allow civilians and rebels to leave the city, the Russian defence ministry has said.

"On Oct. 20 from 08:00 (05:00 GMT) until 16:00, a humanitarian pause will be implemented in the area of Aleppo," Russian defence ministry official Sergei Rudskoy said.

"For that period, Russia's air force and Syrian government forces will halt air strikes and firing from other weapons."

Moscow ruled out a lasting ceasefire, a step that Western governments have been demanding, saying that would only give Islamist rebels in the city an opportunity to regroup.