People walk past damaged buses positioned atop a building as barricades in the rebel-held Bab al-Hadid neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria August 18, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail
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The main umbrella group for the Syrian opposition Friday cautiously welcomed a proposal for a weekly pause in fighting in Aleppo to allow aid to reach besieged areas, provided this would be monitored by the United Nations.Russia, President Bashar Assad's most powerful military ally, said Thursday it supported a longstanding U.N. call for a 48-hour cessation of hostilities in the city each week, and that it was ready to start the first one next week.Rebel groups, including one that was formally aligned with Al-Qaeda until last month, stormed a Syrian army complex in southwest Aleppo two weeks ago, breaking a siege on opposition-held parts of Aleppo and prompting fierce counter attacks.Continuing clashes between rebels and the Syrian army and allied militias were fiercest in the southwest of Aleppo city, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday.
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