Statement comes one day after Moscow told Syrian military would pause its ten-strikes to allow civilians to leave city
The bombardment of Aleppo will continue as long as opponent fighters remain in the Syrian city, Russias foreign minister has said a day after pledging to halt combat operations to let civilians to leave.
After a humanitarian intermission[ the strikes] have resumed and will continue for as long as the bandits are still in Aleppo, Sergei Lavrov told journalists on Friday at a meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Aleppos besieged east arrived under sustained attack on Thursday evening and throughout Friday despite Lavrovs claims of a humanitarian intermission, raising questions about the Kremlins commitment to a ceasefire bargain and its leverage over President Bashar al-Assad.
Residents of east Aleppo told a number of neighbourhoods had been subjected to relentless bombardment, including rocket attacks, helicopter bombings and gunfire.
Bombing never stops, said Abdulkafi al-Hamdo, a educator in east Aleppo, in a text message.
Sources close to the opposition say the Russians are unwilling to halt the campaign without an arrangement by the remaining rebels to leave the city. Lavrov had said the Syrian military would halt all activity in Aleppo to allow civilians to leave the besieged districts that were still under rebel control.
Yasser al-Youssef, a spokesperson for the Noureddine al-Zinki rebel group in east Aleppo, told: The regime and the Russians are putting out propaganda saying the Aleppo frontlines are relatively quiet. This is absolutely false. The airstrikes and artillery bombardment are ongoing on all districts of Aleppo and all the frontlines are on fire.
On Friday the UNs human rights office expressed concern about the fate of civilians who had left rebel-held areas, saying there were reports that hundreds of men from eastern Aleppo had gone missing after traversing into regime-controlled districts.
Given the terrible record of arbitrary detention, torturing and disappearances, we are of course deeply concerned, told Rupert Colville, the UNs human rights spokesman.
Reports have emerged in recent days from families in opposition regions who said they had lost contact with relatives who had crossed over. The opposition says it believes some of the men have been forcibly recruited or tortured.
Syrian soldiers and Iranian-backed Shia militias have spearheaded an attack on east Aleppo, three months into a siege that has left quarter of a million civilians in the area, which has been under opposition control since 2012, starving and without any functioning hospitals.
Assads forces-out are within sight of a key victory in the war , now in its sixth year, having seized more than two-thirds of east Aleppo, including the historic Old City. Their defiance of the Russian pledge for a brief ceasefire highlights their confidence that reclaiming the city is within reach, and the limits of Moscows influence over its allies actions.
Aleppo will entirely change the course of the battle in all of Syria, Assad said in an interview with the Syrian newspaper al-Watan.
But there was little change on the ground on Friday, with rebels apparently holding their ground in the face of the governments advance. Rebel fighters have committed to a last stand in the face of overwhelming odds and despite reports that some factions want to leave to spare the civilians. Perfectly none of the revolutionary cliques will leave Aleppo, said Bassam Mustafa, a member of Noureddine al-Zinkis political office.
Rebel fighters had called for a five-day ceasefire to evacuate the wounded and any civilians wishing to leave. They said they had discussed the mechanics of the evacuation with the UN but had been stymied by a lack of cooperation from Moscow.
People aligned with the military opposition say they were compelled to withdraw from other districts earlier the coming week to avoid being cut off and besieged, but say they will not retreat beyond the present frontlines.
Turkey, a stalwart backer of the rebels, accused the Assad regime on Thursday of perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity but said it was involved in negotiations with Russia over a possible ceasefire.
The developments in Aleppo are of serious concern for all of us, told Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoan. The regime continues to openly commit war crimes and criminal offences against humanity. We call for an end to the conflicts and the delivery of humanitarian aid. We continue our diplomatic efforts for Aleppo.
Turkeys previous stillnes over the intensifying assault has been assured by observers as a sign of an understanding with Russia that its aim is no longer the depose of Assad but the creation of a buffer zone in northern Syria to limit Kurdish aspirations for an autonomous region and to put an end to Islamic State attacks in Turkeys interior.
Meanwhile, the opponent claimed chlorine gas had been deployed on one of its neighbourhoods, al-Kallaseh, on Thursday afternoon.
To everyone who is able to help, to all governments, journalists, civil society organisations, Aleppo is dying, said Abu Jaafar, a forensic medication physician in east Aleppo, in an audio message. There are massacres everywhere. They are killing everyone. Stop the carnages targeting what is left of people and stones. I urge you to use all of your power to save whoever is left. We are done here. This may be my last call.
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