Leader’s Top Aide: Aleppo Liberation Prelude to Greater Victories
“It was the most important victory during the past five years that Syria has been entangled in the war on terrorism and a prelude to future victories, including the liberation of Mosul,” Velayati said in an interview with the Arabic-language al-Ahd news website on Sunday.
Noting that the terrorists had come from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the US and Europe to continue their masters’ occupation policies in Syria, but failed in their plots, he said, “The terrorists will experience repeated defeats and Aleppo’s freedom will be a prelude to the future victories of the Syrian army and its allies.”
The evacuation of the militants from Aleppo was suspended after the terrorist groups violated the ceasefire and started firing at civilians who were being evacuated through al-Ramouseh corridor.
“Resuming the evacuation of the terrorists from Eastern Aleppo now depends on the exit of the injured people from Kafraya and Fua’a towns,” a source close to the Syrian government said.
According to the agreements between the Syrian authorities and the terrorist groups, the terrorists had agreed to allow a group of residents of Fua’a and Kafraya who are in emergency conditions to leave the two towns, but terrorists have not allowed the buses and ambulances to get out of either of the towns.
Tens of buses and ambulances have been dispatched to the two towns but al-Nusra Front (recently changed its name to Fatah al-Sham Front) terrorists prevented the buses from entering the two towns and did not allow the civilians to get out of there.
The Syrian authorities and terrorist groups stationed in the Eastern parts of Aleppo reached an agreement on December 15 to evacuate militants from the region in return for relocating thousands of besieged civilians from Fua’a and Kafraya in Idlib to government-ruled territories.
Tens of ambulances and Green Buses arrived at militant-held territories on Thursday morning to evacuate militant groups and their families from Aleppo.
On Thursday about 20 buses and 10 ambulances started carrying carry out evacuation of the militants from the Eastern districts of the city of Aleppo.
The evacuation operation was monitored by web cameras that the Russian Defense Ministry has installed along the corridors, as well as surveillance drones.
The Syrian authorities guaranteed that all members of armed groups who decide to leave Eastern Aleppo would be safe.
Meanwhile, buses and ambulances are on their way to Idlib to evacuate the wounded, women and children from Faua’a and Kafraya to government-held territories via Northern Hama, as according to official statements, the evacuation will take place in several phases.
Syria’s state TV reported on Thursday – before the first group of militants left Eastern Aleppo – that terrorists restarted artillery attacks on residential areas in the Eastern districts of Aleppo city, breaching the truce.
The terrorists had also in a similar case earlier jeopardized the agreement on Tuesday night after they received some messages from Ankara about Turkey’s increasing pressures on Damascus through military intervention in Northern Aleppo province combined with the western states’ mounting pressures on Syria and its allies that accused the latter of war crimes in Eastern Aleppo. The ceasefire agreement that was reached on Tuesday went off after the terrorists violated its terms, making the warring sides to initiate a new round of talks that resulted in an agreement on Wednesday.
The first group of militants, including 1,500 armed men and their families, left Eastern Aleppo on Thursday afternoon on buses and ambulances under the ceasefire agreement.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that ambulances and buses with militants leaving Aleppo were accompanied by Russian servicemen and Red Cross staff.
In the first stage, a sum of 1,500 militants, including most the wounded rebels and their family members, left Aleppo on Thursday. A sum of 4,000 to 5,000 militants and an estimated number of 10,000 people who are said to be their family members were to leave Eastern Aleppo under the deal.
“To allow the militants leave the city, a 21km humanitarian corridor has been set up. Of those, 6km lie across Aleppo’s territories controlled by government troops and the other 15km to the West of the city go through militant-held areas,” Chief of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov said.
He added that 20 buses and 10 ambulances were being used for the evacuation in addition to over 100 vehicles belonging to the militants themselves.
Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed on Thursday afternoon that the first group of 5,000 militants moved out of Eastern Aleppo.
The ICRC reported that a sum of 1,500, including wounded militants and their family members, left Aleppo for Idlib on Thursday.
The Russian general Staff also said Thursday that a total number of 105 neighborhoods have been completely taken back from the terrorists as a result of the anti-terror operation in Eastern Aleppo.
Media sources said on Friday morning that at least 8,079 militants and their families had been evacuated from Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city to Southwestern countryside of the city in last 24 hours.
10 cargos of vehicles have evacuated 8,079 militants and their family members from the neighborhoods of Salahuddin, al-Ansari, al-Mashhad, and al-Zobaydiyeh to the Southwestern countryside of Aleppo via al-Ramouseh corridor under the supervision of the Syrian Red Crescent Society and the International Red Cross Committee.
A total of over 2300 terrorists and their families left Eastern neighborhoods on Thursday.
Before the departure, many terrorist groups blew up their main headquarters and weapons and ammunition depots and burned their offices and documents that reveal their sources of funds, armaments and intelligence information.
Terrorist groups’ artillery units shelled heavily al-Ramouseh corridor in the Southern parts of Aleppo city on Friday regardless of the ceasefire, blocking once again exit of remaining militants and their families from the city.
The terrorists violated the ceasefire and shelled al-Ramouseh corridor through which militants and their families were leaving the Eastern neighborhoods of the city, while terrorist snipers also targeted al-Ramouseh corridor and captured a number of civilians.
Green buses that were in al-Ramouseh left the scene after terrorists targeted the corridor and blocked evacuation of militants.
Based on reports, just before shelling of al-Ramouseh corridor by terrorist groups over 150 vehicles left militant-held neighborhoods in Aleppo city to the Southwestern countryside of the city via al-Ramouseh corridor.
In the meantime, more groups of militants left Aleppo’s Eastern districts with their families. 3,475 men, 3,137 women, 2,359 children and 108 wounded left Aleppo before midday on Friday.
According to more reports, the terrorist groups have swapped a number of abducted people with captured terrorists.
Local sources in Eastern Aleppo disclosed that most of the Saudi, Turkish or Egyptian commanders of al-Nusra Front have left the Eastern neighborhoods, while tens of militant that are still in these neighborhoods are to turn themselves in to the army and apply for amnesty.
Terrorist groups also targeted a key passageway in Northwestern Hama on Friday and blocked the movement of a convoy of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) heading towards Northern Idlib to evacuate injured people from the two militant-besieged towns of Fua’a and Kafraya.
Terrorist groups’ missile units targeted al-Soqaylbiyeh passageway connecting Northwestern Hama to Southern Idlib to stop the SARC’ convoy and buses’s movement to Fua’a and Kafraya in Northern Idlib to transfer the injured, patients and the elderly to government-held areas
The SARC convoy and buses that were to go through al-Soqaylbiyeh passage way were pushed to a stop at Tal Baqlo-Al-Madiq Fort in Northwestern Hama.
Syrian Army troops forwarded several groups of forces to al-Ramouseh corridor in the Southern part of Aleppo city after terrorists launched several rounds of attacks on the corridor to block exit of militants and their families from the city
According to military sources, while violation of ceasefire and shelling of al-Ramouseh by terrorist groups pushed the newly-concluded agreement on evacuation of militants from Eastern Aleppo to the rims of failure, the army dispatched fresh forces to al-Ramouseh.
Some of the field commanders said that the entire options are on the table for restart of military operations after terrorists’ targeted al-Ramouseh corridor
Meanwhile, some people who were originally from Fua’a and Kafraya and their families and friends are trapped inside the two towns came to Ramouseh to Southern Aleppo to block the relocation of Aleppo militants and their families to Idlib through Ramouseh. They stressed that they would continue to block al-Ramouseh corridor till the militants allow the injured and patients leave Fua’a and Kafraya as militants have not allowed civilians to leave the besieged towns of Fua’a and Kafraya in Northern Idlib.
Arab media outlets added that militants opened fire at those people who had closed al-Ramouseh corridor to prevent exit of militant and their families in a retaliatory move.
Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham in Northern Idlib keep blocking exist of the injured or patients from Fua’a and Kafraya despite an agreement concluded between militant groups and Damascus officials for their evacuation to government-controlled regions.
Fatah al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham did not allow any ambulance or bus to leave Fua’a and Kafraya, while an agreement reached by the Syrian government and Jeish al-Fatah coalition of terrorist groups allows evacuation of militants and their families from Aleppo in return for transferring the injured, patients and the elderly trapped in the predominately Shiite towns to army-controlled regions.
The Russian Defense Ministry announced Friday afternoon that Syrian Army troops started cleansing operation in Eastern Aleppo to hunt the remaining pockets of Jeish al-Fatah terrorists in the city after militants violated the ceasefire again and opened fire at defenseless citizens.
“In some areas, there are still groups of militants who are firing at Syria troops,” the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that Syrian Army units are continuing the liberation of the militant-held districts of the city”.
The Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria announced on Tuesday that 98 percent of Aleppo city was under the control of the Army soldiers and popular force on verge on conclusion of agreement for evacuation of militants.
The Russian Defense Ministry also announced on Friday afternoon that all women and children have been evacuated from militant-controlled parts of Eastern Aleppo, and only militants now remain there and are firing at the Syrian army forces.
The Russian Center for Reconciliation said that over 4,500 militants have been evacuated along with their families, as well as 337 wounded, adding that more than 9,500 people have been evacuated from Eastern Aleppo by Friday evening.
The center said that liberation of the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city has been completed, adding that Syrian government forces are now tackling separate pockets of militants’ resistance.
“The operation by the Syrian Army aimed at liberating the militant-controlled neighborhoods of Eastern Aleppo has been completed,” the center said, adding that the Syrian government forces continue to hit and destroy isolated pockets of militant resistance.
According to the latest figures from the Russian Defense ministry, only 2 percent of Aleppo is still controlled by a few militants.