Beirut- The Syrian opposition has refused to leave the city of Aleppo even after Moscow and the Syrian regime announcement they would halt their airstrikes in a move that Russia said was an “act of good will” ahead of an 8-hour ceasefire the Kremlin will impose on Thursday.
Opposition factions were quick in their response. They refused to withdraw from Aleppo and asserted that they would continue fighting. Meanwhile, members from the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces said they fear a plan to “forcibly displace” residents near the Aleppo entrances.
“The opposition factions refuse to leave and surrender,” Zakaria Malahafiji, political representative for the Fastaqem Kama Umirt said.
Another commander in the Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham, Al-Farouk Abu Bakr said that opposition fighters would keep fighting to protect the Syrian people.
“There is no presence of any terrorist in Aleppo,” he said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the city of Aleppo witnessed 14 hours of non-stop airstrikes on its eastern part. More than 55 persons were killed in 24 hours.
Rami Abdulrahman, the Syrian Observatory chief, told Asharq Al-Awsat that residents fear the resumption of fierce shelling during the night after calm had prevailed during the day.
Abdulrahman ruled out that next Thursday’s ceasefire would be different from the previous ones. “None of the besieged civilians accept to leave their houses next Thursday during the 8-hour ceasefire.”
At the political level, member of the National Coalition Mohammed Maktabi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the ceasefire that Moscow was currently promoting a part of its continuous “dodging and card shuffling.”
Maktabi added: “What do you think can be achieved during an 8-hour ceasefire if humanitarian convoys need at least 12 hours to arrive to the city, in case they were loaded and ready to depart.”
Mohammed Sarmini, director general of Jusoor Studies Center said revolutionists are expected to resist until the siege is lifted. Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Sarmini called on opposition fighters to benefit from the ceasefire to bring in humanitarian aid and evacuate the injured.
On Tuesday, the Kremlin announced that a humanitarian pause would be implemented in Aleppo, saying Russia’s air force and Syrian government forces will halt airstrikes and firing from other weapons.