People walk near an over-crowded graveyard in the rebel held al-Shaar neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria October 6, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail
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Russia said Friday a draft U.N. resolution demanding an end to airstrikes and military flights over the Syrian city of Aleppo was unacceptable, as Moscow faced growing international pressure to stop a devastating bombardment of the city backed by Russian air power.Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia would support an eye-catching proposal by U.N. Syria Envoy Staffan de Mistura to escort militants out of Aleppo personally.Russia was ready to call on the Syrian government to allow fighters from Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, formerly the Nusra Front, to leave the city with their weapons, Lavrov said.German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Russia to use its influence with the Syrian government to end the bombardment of Aleppo, as her government opened the door to possible sanctions against Russia for its role in the conflict.The Syrian army and its allies clashed Friday in the south of Aleppo with rebels seeking to oust Assad, part of a pro-government offensive to retake the city.Airstrikes on rebel-held Aleppo by the Syrian military and Russian jets remained significantly lighter than during the previous two weeks following an army announcement Wednesday that it would lessen its bombardment.
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