The Latest on the developments in the Syrian civil war (all times local):

1:55 p.m.

Syrian activists say warplanes have struck two rebel-held villages in the northern Aleppo province shortly after Russian and Syrian airstrikes were halted against rebel-held neighborhoods in the city of Aleppo.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Ibrahim Alhaj, a spokesman for the Civil Defense, say that Tuesday's airstrikes hit villages of Anadan and Daret Azzehe.

They had no immediate word on casualties. Aleppo is the capital of the province with the same name.

Earlier on Tuesday, Russia's defense minister said Russian and Syrian warplanes halted their airstrikes on the city of Aleppo in preparation for a temporary eight-hour pause in offensive operations that Moscow has announced for later in the week.

Meanwhile, Syria's state news agency SANA says rebels shelled two government-held western neighborhoods of the city of Aleppo, killing a woman and wounding three people.

___

8:30 a.m.

Russia has announced that Russian and Syrian warplanes are halting airstrikes on the besieged city of Aleppo.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says the airstrikes were suspended starting from 10 a.m. on Tuesday. He says the suspension is intended to prepare for the opening of humanitarian corridors for the rebels to leave Aleppo.

Russia says its forces and the Syrian army will observe a "humanitarian pause" between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Thursday, to allow civilians and militants safe passage out of the city. At that time, Syrian rebels, including al-Qaida militants, as well as the wounded and the sick will be allowed to leave to the neighboring rebel-held province of Idlib.

Shoigu urged the countries wielding influence with the rebels in Aleppo to persuade them to leave the city.