World

UN Syria envoy calls for truce in Aleppo as building block to wider resolution of civil war

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, United Nations special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura, speaks during a press conference in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. The United Nation’s envoy to Syria is calling for a truce in the northern city of Aleppo as a building block to a wider resolution of the country’s grinding civil war. (AP Photo/SANA)

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, United Nations special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura, speaks during a press conference in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. The United Nation’s envoy to Syria is calling for a truce in the northern city of Aleppo as a building block to a wider resolution of the country’s grinding civil war. (AP Photo/SANA)  (The Associated Press)

The United Nations envoy to Syria is calling for a truce in the northern city of Aleppo as a building block to a wider resolution of the country's grinding civil war.

U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura spoke at a news conference Tuesday in the capital, Damascus. His public call for a cease-fire came a day after Syrian President Bashar Assad said the suggestion was "worth studying."

Previously, pro-government Syrian media lashed out at de Mistura, accusing the international diplomat of overstepping his bounds for suggesting local truces throughout Syria.

Aleppo was Syria's former commercial hub and is now the last major city where rebels still hold large areas, although they are under increasing attack from advancing government forces.

De Mistura is on a three-day visit to Syria.