Syrian Army Halts Combat in Aleppo

The Syrian Army on Thursday stopped combat inside the beleaguered city of Aleppo, reportedly to let civilians flee while government forces continue to retake land in the city. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the ceasefire will let about 8,000 people flee the city, according to the BBC. Syrian troops, with the assistance of Russian air power, have retaken about three-quarters of the city, which was held by rebels for about four years. The move comes as there is reportedly progression toward a full ceasefire in Aleppo. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Thursday that the State Department has worked “tenaciously almost around the clock with the Russians” to bring in humanitarian assistance. On Thursday, representatives with the US, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, and Canada released a joint statement on Aleppo, condemning Syrian action, with support by Russia and Iran, including bombarding civilians and children in the city. “They appear to be the targets of attack in an attempt to wear people down,” the statement says. The statement calls for an immediate ceasefire, and for all parties to follow international humanitarian law to remedy the humanitarian crisis.