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Aleppo plan must ensure protection for Syrians whether they leave or stay - ICRC

GENEVA (Reuters) - A proposal to create a humanitarian corridor into Aleppo must ensure that Syrians are protected and supported whether they choose to leave or to stay, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday.

All warring sides must allow aid agencies access to assess civilian needs and ensure that families who choose to leave are kept together, the aid agency said in a statement reacting to Russia’s plan for a humanitarian corridor.

“What we need urgently is a humanitarian pause in all areas of Aleppo affected by the violence,” said Robert Mardini, ICRC director for the Near and Middle East, on his return from Syria and Iraq.

“Our teams need to reach communities in eastern Aleppo now, especially families and the most vulnerable, such as the elderly, the sick and injured, and detainees.”

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Louise Ireland