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30 Oct, 2016 04:42

Aleppo terrorists shell escape routes, take $300 bribe per fleeing civilian – Russia’s MoD

Aleppo terrorists shell escape routes, take $300 bribe per fleeing civilian – Russia’s MoD

Terrorists in Aleppo show no sign of deescalating attacks on residential areas and humanitarian corridors, Russia’s Defense Ministry says. Only 12 people managed to flee the jihadist-controlled area overnight, and only after paying a hefty bribe.

The price of civilian freedom was valued at roughly $300 a head, an astronomical figure for the Aleppo residents who have been under the terrorists’ yoke for years.

Commenting on the development of the Russian humanitarian pause, established on October 20 to secure the release of civilians via six specially-created escape routes, the Russian Ministry of Defense noted that on Saturday night only 12 Syrians had managed to flee east Aleppo. The MoD noted that terrorists in Aleppo continue to intensively shell the residential areas and humanitarian corridors.

“Last night 12 Syrians managed to move to safe districts through one of the corridors, in Al-Masharqa,” the ministry's official spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Sunday morning.

“According to refugees, it [the escape] became possible after a bribe to one of field commanders at a price of 150,000 Syrian liras [around $300] for every person. In order to collect 1.8 million liras, the three families had to sell all their belongings,” he noted.

The humanitarian pause is the only lifeline extended to civilians in east Aleppo, as the Russian and Syrian Air Forces continue to observe a no-fly-zone over Aleppo, staying at least 10km from the city.

“Russian and Syrian aircraft have not performed any flights over the city of Aleppo for 13 days already,” the general said. “For comparison, the US-led international coalition has delivered nine airstrikes over the last 24 hours at residential quarters of an Iraqi city with a population of over 1 million people – Mosul.”

As Damascus and Moscow stopped carrying out airstrikes in eastern Aleppo, the US-supported Iraqi offensive has unleashed a reign of fire on Mosul.

“Since the campaign for Mosul started, the coalition has delivered almost 2,500 close air support bombs and missiles, artillery rounds and HIMARS rockets on enemy targets since the battle started on October 17,” Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Colonel John Dorrian said on Friday.

Konashenkov called these strikes “indiscriminate” questioning if “the coalition observes international humanitarian law,” as the general noted that that two out of nine airstrikes conducted by the US-supported coalition on Saturday were carried out over the city using “B-52H strategic bombers.”

Earlier, Russia accused the US of bombing heavily-populated civilian areas, including two schools. On Saturday, the Pentagon promised to investigate information offered by the Russian General Staff on the alleged bombing of an Iraqi school by US warplanes in the village of Tall Kayf on October 24.

Russia has been assisting the Syrian Army in fighting Al-Nusra Front terrorists in eastern Aleppo, which has become the militants’ stronghold in Syria. However, the West has accused Moscow and Damascus of causing civilian casualties and suffering in the area, seemingly disregarding atrocities caused by jihadists.