Discussing their recent series of ceasefires in Aleppo, which lasted nearly three weeks, Russia’s Defense Ministry insisted over the weekend that they would need specific assurances from the United Nations before any further ceasefires were announced.
The whole point of the ceasefires, from the Russian perspective, were to allow the evacuation of the Nusra Front-held districts in eastern Aleppo, along with easing international criticism of the situation by allowing humanitarian aid deliveries into those areas.
Though Russia went weeks without launching strikes, no major evacuations happened, nor did the UN manage to deliver any humanitarian aid to the city. The UN said at the time they couldn’t get assurances from the other forces controlling areas along the aid route that the deliveries would be safe. This in particular appeared to be a problem with the rebels, who are said to have prevented civilians fleeing and likely wanted to block organized UN evacuations that would come with the aid delivery.
Russian officials also complained of repeatedly rebel attacks on Syrian military targets during the ceasefire. Indeed, the Nusra Front launched a major offensive against southwestern Aleppo during the last ceasefire, aiming to dramatically gain territory while Russian warplanes were absent from the skies over the area.
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