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Syria army to enter last Aleppo terrorist enclave

20 December 2016 22:15

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Syrian government forces have announced they are going to enter the last enclave of the foreign-sponsored militants in the northern city of Aleppo, calling on anyone there to expedite their evacuation.

The military media unit of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement reported on Tuesday that Syrian forces would go into the area later in the day. The media unit said the Syrian military had been using loudspeakers to notify individuals in the district of the plan to enter the area.

Aleppo , whose eastern parts had for long been held by anti-Damascus militants, has almost entirely been liberated in recent military operations by Damascus and ally Russia.

Over the past several days, and under an evacuation deal, all those remaining in the shrinking militant-held territory have been being evacuated by the Syrian government to territory in the Idlib Governorate or elsewhere.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced on his official Twitter account on Monday that a total of 20,000 people had been evacuated from eastern Aleppo.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said some 25,000 people have left eastern Aleppo so far.

Syria’s state-run television reported that gunmen from armed opposition groups are ready to leave eastern Aleppo and move to the city’s southernmost suburbs.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 17 buses had departed the militant-held district of al-Rashideen, just beyond Aleppo’s southwestern limit and arrived in another southern Aleppo area. The buses were carrying dozens of militants and their families, it said.

Under the deal, civilians are also being taken out of the two militant-besieged villages of al-Foua and Kefraya in Idlib.

Seven buses carrying hundreds of injured civilians and patients left the besieged villages and entered government-held areas in Aleppo on Monday. Ten other buses were said to be about to arrive in the Ramousah area of southern Aleppo on Tuesday.

The buses have reportedly been carrying elderly people, wounded civilians, and patients, who had been under militants’ siege for four years.

There are reports that 1,200 people have evacuated Foua and Kefraya.

Syrians evacuated from al-Foua and Kefraya, are welcomed by pro-government forces as they arrive in the Jibrin neighborhood on the eastern outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, December 19, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Ten buses had earlier entered the Ramousah area of southern Aleppo, bringing in civilians from Foua and Kefraya.

The Observatory said that a dozen more buses are expected to enter Aleppo on Tuesday under the same arrangement.

Meanwhile, Syrian government forces, supported by allied fighters from popular defense groups, have wrested control over al-Radad area on the outskirts of Sharifa Village, which lies south of the T4 military airport and near the ancient city of Palmyra.

An unnamed military source told Syria’s official news agency SANA that scores of Daesh terrorists were killed as Syrian soldiers engaged in fierce skirmishes with them to liberate the area.

Syrians evacuated from militant-held areas in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo arrive in the militant-controlled Khan al-Assal region, west of the city, December 19, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

An armored vehicle in addition to two pickup trucks equipped with heavy machineguns were also destroyed in the process.

Separately, Syrian army artillery units pounded the positions of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as the al-Nusra Front, in the Tir Mualla, al-Ghantu, Alu Al-Azz Farms, and Housh Hajv districts in the central province of Homs, leaving a number of the extremists dead and injured.

Considerable amounts of munitions belonging to the terrorists were destroyed as well.

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