Residents driving a motorcycle gesture towards a fighter in Dabiq town, northern Aleppo countryside, Syria Oct. 16, 2016. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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Moscow announced Tuesday that Russian and Syrian air forces have stopped bombing Aleppo ahead of a brief truce, a move the Kremlin said showed "goodwill" as it faces mounting criticism for backing a brutal government offensive.It came a day after Russia said there would be an eight-hour "humanitarian pause" in the battered city Thursday, a move welcomed by the United Nations and the European Union which nevertheless said the cease-fire needed to be longer to allow the delivery of aid.On Monday, dozens of civilians including 12 members of the same family were killed in strikes in Aleppo, it added.The brutal government offensive against eastern Aleppo – which has destroyed hospitals and other civilian infrastructure – has plunged Syria into some of the worst violence of the 5-1/2-year war that has claimed over 300,000 lives.Russia has repeatedly demanded that Syrian rebels break all ties with Fatah al-Sham, which the United Nations considers a terrorist group, as a condition for a cease-fire in Aleppo.
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