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Syria Rejects UN Aleppo Truce Proposal

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura arrives for a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in the capital Damascus on Nov. 20.UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura arrives for a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in the capital Damascus on Nov. 20.

A UN proposal to end heavy fighting in the city of Aleppo has been rejected by the Syrian government.

Under the plan, militant-held eastern Aleppo would remain under opposition control if the militant fighters withdrew.

Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, who met the UN envoy to Syria on Sunday, called the idea a violation of “national sovereignty”. Earlier, eight children died in government-held western Aleppo after militants hit a school, state media say, BBC reported.

In a militant-held area, a barrel bomb killed a family of six, activists say. Local medics say the victims in al-Sakhour District suffocated to death because the bomb was laced with chlorine gas.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, which monitors all the latest developments in Syria, reported the bombing but could not confirm the gas was used.

In Sunday’s militant shelling of the school in the government-controlled Furqan area, a teacher was also killed and at least 32 people were injured, Syria’s state-run Sana news agency reports.

Muallem rejected the truce plan during Sunday’s meeting in Damascus with UN envoy Staffan De Mistura.

De Mistura suggested the government grant autonomy and recognize the local administration in militant-held areas of Aleppo if militant fighters left the city.

But Muallem said the state’s institutions must be restored across the whole city because it was a matter of “national sovereignty”.

“It is not acceptable at all to leave some 275,000 of our people as hostages to 6,000 or 7,000 gunmen. No government in the world would accept that,” the Syrian minister said.

De Mistura arrived in the country amid growing concern for the residents of east Aleppo. The World Health Organization says they are almost entirely without hospital facilities following the latest assault.

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