Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Syrian army tells rebels to quit Aleppo before complete takeover

Syria's army on Tuesday urged the last remaining rebels and civilians to leave the bombed-out eastern quarters of Aleppo as it prepares to take full control of the devastated city.

The evacuation of east Aleppo is seen as a pivotal moment in the nearly six-year war that has killed more than 310,000 people and triggered a major humanitarian and refugee crisis.

At least 25,000 people have left rebel districts of east Aleppo since evacuations began last week, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which is overseeing the operation.

Thousands more were still waiting to be bused out, spokeswoman Ingy Sedky said.
She said that 750 people had been evacuated in parallel from Fuaa and Kafraya, two Shiite-majority villages in northwest Syria besieged by rebels, as part of the deal.

In east Aleppo on Tuesday, soldiers using megaphones called on the remaining fighters and civilians to exit the opposition districts, a military source told AFP.

"The army is expected to enter (Aleppo) to clean the area after the fighters leave," the source said. READ MORE