Syria’s regime is continuing to shell rebel-held districts in Aleppo.
Government forces continue to shell eastern Aleppo despite Russia’s claim that the regime’s army would suspend combat operations to allow for the evacuation of civilians from besieged districts.
At least 40,000 displaced people have moved to government-held western Aleppo in recent weeks, according to estimates by the United Nations, though other agencies have given figures twice as high.
They join more than 400,000 displaced people already in western Aleppo.
Early Friday, UN envoy Staffan de Mistura called for a return to negotiations after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said forces aligned with Syria’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad, had halted their onslaught on rebel-held eastern Aleppo.
“Combat operations by the Syrian army in east Aleppo have been suspended because the largest operation of evacuation of civilians from east Aleppo is being carried out,” Lavrov said on Thursday, as quoted by Russian news agency Sputnik.
Officials have maintained for weeks that Russia has not been involved in military operations in Aleppo, formerly Syria’s most populous city.