President Vladimir Putin has rejected a request by the Russian Defense Ministry to resume the bombing of Aleppo, saying humanitarian relief efforts need more time, according to the RIA Novosti agency.
Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s official spokesperson, told reporters that Russia would also wait to resume airstrikes against Aleppo, so that “our American partners can fulfill previous commitments and promises to demarcate the so-called moderate opposition and terrorist groups.”
Peskov wouldn’t say when President Putin will revisit the question resuming attacks on Aleppo, though he stressed that the Kremlin’s primary objective is providing time for militants and civilians — especially the wounded — to abandon the city.
On Oct. 20, Russia announced a unilateral “humanitarian pause” in airstrikes on rebel-held eastern Syria, including Aleppo, where U.N. officials are trying to evacuate hundreds of wounded and deliver emergency supplies to besieged areas.
The West and Russia have recently traded war-crimes allegations in the international military intervention in Syria’s bloody civil war.