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Russia halts Aleppo strikes in "goodwill gesture"

Members of the White Helmets search for victims amid the rubble of a destroyed building following reported air strikes in Aleppo, on October 17, 2016Moscow announced Tuesday that Russian and Syrian air forces have stopped bombing Aleppo ahead of a brief truce, a move the Kremlin said showed “goodwill” as it faces mounting criticism for backing a brutal regime offensive. It came a day after Russia said there would be an eight-hour “humanitarian pause” in the battered city on Thursday, a move welcomed by the United Nations and the European Union which nevertheless said the ceasefire needed to be longer to allow the delivery of aid. The US State Department voiced scepticism regarding Moscow’s latest initiative while welcoming a halt in the bombing.

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