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Russia says Syria army halts Aleppo attacks as rebels cornered

Syrian residents fleeing the violence gather at a checkpoint, manned by pro-government forces, in the Maysaloun neighbourhood of the northern embattled Syrian city of Aleppo on December 8, 2016Syria’s army has halted its attacks in Aleppo to allow trapped civilians to be evacuated, Russia’s foreign minister said, after advancing regime forces cornered rebels in the city. Immediately after the announcement, AFP correspondents in Aleppo said air strikes ceased and artillery fire was far less intense, but later reported that the army was continuing to shell two rebels districts, Kalasseh and al-Maadi. The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights monitoring group also reported sporadic clashes with new raids and artillery fire late Thursday and said at least 18 civilians had been killed during the day in rebel zones by regime raids and artillery.

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