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Syria would be willing to stop Aleppo airstrikes for six weeks, envoy says

"The government of Syria has indicated to me its willingness to halt all types of aerial bombing and artillery shelling for a period of six weeks," said U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura.

By Kate Stanton
Syria would be willing to stop Aleppo airstrikes for six weeks, envoy says
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, pictured on April 20, 2014, has said he is willing to agree to a six-week truce, a U.N. envoy said Tuesday. Photo via Syrian Government. | License Photo

ALEPPO, Syria, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is willing to agree to a six-week "freeze" of government airstrikes on the city of Aleppo, a mediator for the United Nations has said.

"The government of Syria has indicated to me its willingness to halt all types of aerial bombing and artillery shelling for a period of six weeks, all over the city of Aleppo," Staffan de Mistura, the United Nation's special envoy to Syria, announced Tuesday.

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De Mistura, who will try to reach a parallel agreement with opposition leaders, will soon travel to the capital, Damascus, in the hopes of arriving at an official start date for the freeze.

Aleppo, Syria's largest city, has been at the center of the country's civil war between government and rebel forces since fighting broke out there in 2012.

De Mistura acknowledged that the plan could fall through.

"I have no illusions, because based on past experience, this will be a difficult issue to achieve," he added.

De Mistura's announcement comes as the Syrian military clashed with rebels outside of Aleppo Tuesday, after the government attempted to cut off a crucial opposition supply route.

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