November 2, 2016 / 4:06 PM / in 2 years

Syria rebels reject Russian demand to withdraw from Aleppo: rebel official

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian rebels on Wednesday rejected Russian demands that they withdraw from Aleppo by Friday evening, an official in one insurgent faction said.

A man rides a motorcycle near a damaged site after an airstrike on rebel-held Urum al-Kubra town in Aleppo province, Syria November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

“This is completely out of the question. We will not give up the city of Aleppo to the Russians and we won’t surrender,” Zakaria Malahifji of the Fastaqim rebel group told Reuters.

Russia’s defense ministry said rebels and civilians would be allowed to leave the eastern opposition-held part of Aleppo and signaled it would extend a moratorium on air strikes inside the city.

However, Malahifji said there were no safe exit corridors, as Russia had stated.

“It’s not true. Civilians and fighters are not leaving. Civilians are afraid of the regime, they don’t trust it. And the fighters are not surrendering,” he said.

Reporting by John Davison; Editing by Louise Ireland

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