Militants should not use humanitarian pauses in Aleppo, which are intended for supplying relief aid to the population, to replenish their resources, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Monday.
Churkin said that the parameters of humanitarian cargoes, including the initiative to establish a 48-hour ceasefire in Aleppo with participation of UN special agencies, were being defined. “We firmly believe that humanitarian lulls should not be used by the insurgents to replenish their resources and regroup their forces like it used to be in the past. We hope that the opposition sponsors will be able to make it (the opposition) more agreeable and committed to the terms of future agreements,” the diplomat said.
Churkin emphasized that it was necessary to tighten control over the passage of cargoes via the Turkish-Syrian border in order to prevent terrorists from using humanitarian corridors for strengthening their ranks with more militants and receiving fresh supplies of weapons and ammunition.
On August 18, the Russian Defense Ministry said it was ready to support the United Nations initiative to establish weekly 48-hour pauses in military hostilities in Aleppo for holding humanitarian operations in the city. The first pause in fighting is to be introduced this week.
UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien said on Monday that the United Nations would send 70 trucks with food and essentials to eastern Aleppo if a ceasefire agreement was reached.
A number of Western countries on Monday welcomed Russia’s decision to support the United Nations initiative. However, they insisted that the Syrian government should not use the humanitarian pauses in Aleppo to regroup and build up its forces ahead of storming rebel-held strongholds in Aleppo’s eastern outskirts.