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At the Khmeimim air base
At the Khmeimim air base
Georges Malbrunot

ALEPPO — In his smoke-filled office in western Aleppo, Tarif Attoura holds a copy of the draft agreement to let the rebels leave the eastern part of the city, under siege for three months. "It was the Russians who drew up the document in their Center for Reconciliation at the Khmeimim air base, near Latakia," says the humanitarian worker, who regularly crosses the frontline to go to the rebel-controlled area. The text was signed by the Syrian general Zayed Saleh and Sergey Ustinov, Russia's military chief of staff in Syria.

"Sorry, but I have to go to the Russian-Syrian coordination center immediately," Attoura says, before taking his leave. That was in late October, on the first day of a humanitarian pause that failed ultimately to bring the rebels out of this eastern part of Aleppo, which has been under very violent attack from the Syrian air force.

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