Aleppo rebels call for five-day ceasefire, talks about city’s future
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian rebels in besieged eastern Aleppo called for an immediate five-day ceasefire, negotiations about the future of the city and for medical and civilian evacuations, in a humanitarian plan published on Wednesday.
A Turkey-based rebel official told Reuters the plan had been sent to international parties which had yet to respond.
The “humanitarian initiative” document signed in the name of the Aleppo Leadership Council asked for all involved parties to discuss the future of the city once the humanitarian situation in the rebel-held sector of the divided city has been alleviated.
The document also called for the evacuation of around 500 critical medical cases from east Aleppo under United Nations supervision.
Civilians wanting to leave east Aleppo should be evacuated to the northern Aleppo countryside, rather than Idlib province.
Fighters and civilians from rebel-held areas around Syria have often previously been transferred to rebel-held Idlib under settlement agreements reached with the Syrian army. But the document said Idlib is now too dangerous because of intense air strikes, as well as being unable to cope with more displaced persons.
The document said rebels in Aleppo will support any regional or international initiative to lighten the suffering of their people, and repeated their readiness to guarantee the safety of United Nations and humanitarian organizations wanting to carry out humanitarian operations.
(Reporting by Lisa Barrington and Tom Perry; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)