Russia has extended the “humanitarian pause” in Syria’s Aleppo for an additional 24 hours, the country’s defense minister announced Thursday.
The extended humanitarian pause is now set to expire at 13:00 GMT on Friday.
Sergey Shoigu said the decision, which was made on the order of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was also supported by the Syrian regime.
On Tuesday, Russian and Syrian warplanes ceased striking Aleppo in the run-up to the eight-hour “humanitarian pause” slated for Thursday.
Amid growing international pressure, Russia on Wednesday extended the pause to 11 hours, while urging civilians to leave the city, warning that a new offensive would begin once the brief pause expired.
Hundreds of civilians have reportedly been killed or injured in Russian and Syrian airstrikes since Sept. 19, when Assad regime announced the end of a week-long truce.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad cracked down on pro-democracy protests — which erupted as part of the “Arab Spring” uprisings — with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-torn country, according to UN figures.
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