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Thousands evacuated from eastern Aleppo ahead of UN vote

19 December 2016 14:55

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A total of about 3,500 militants and their families have been evacuated from the eastern part of the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo.

Since the early hours of Monday, as many as 65 buses have transferred the evacuees from Aleppo’s eastern side to militant-held territory in Khan Tuman, a village southwest of Aleppo, and Idlib.

Meanwhile, the so-called UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday that an estimated 500 people had been taken out of the two besieged Shia villages of al-Fou’a and Kefraya in the neighboring Idlib Province.

According to Syrian media, the evacuation of wounded and civilians trapped in the two villages was a condition for the evacuation of militants in eastern Aleppo.

Recently, Russia and Turkey reached a deal enabling the evacuation of thousands of trapped civilians and militants from Aleppo.

The process was, however, halted after the militants violated the ceasefire deal and blocked the transfer of civilians from al-Fou’a and Kefraya.

On Saturday, it was reported that the government and the militants were working on a new deal to resume evacuations from the villages as well as two towns near the Lebanese border.

The evacuations, which were initially set to start earlier on Sunday, were postponed after the militants attacked and burned around 20 of the buses that had arrived to transport people out of the two villages.

Smoke rises from green government buses in Idlib Province, western Syria, on December 18, 2016 after militants set fire to the vehicles, which had arrived to take civilians to safety. (Photo by AP)

 

Takfiri militants seized Aleppo back in 2012. The city was recently restored to government control on the back of a month-long military operation. The Syrian government is now in control of all major cities.

 

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