Pulse.ng logo

In Aleppo Evacuations delayed again, as government source blames rebels

The Syrian military source, who declined to be quoted by name, said 62 buses had entered the enclave to bring out the last civilians and rebel fighters.

  • Published:
Warplanes play



The final evacuations of civilians and rebel fighters from east Aleppo appeared to be on hold on Tuesday.

A source close to the Syrian military saying rebels inside the devastated enclave were divided and issuing new demands.

A total of 25,000 people have been evacuated so far from the last city districts held by rebels, Ingy Sedky, a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said earlier.

The Syrian military source, who declined to be quoted by name, said 62 buses had entered the enclave to bring out the last civilians and rebel fighters.

The rebels, however, had posed new demands for the release of detainees and were also divided among themselves, adding that it was not immediately possible to confirm that from rebel sources’’ he said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that there appeared to be about 2,000 to 3,000 people left inside eastern Aleppo.

The monitoring group disputed the ICRC figures, putting the total number of evacuees at 16,200.

A local activist who departed on an overnight convoy said many of those remaining were rebel fighters.

The east Aleppo residents and rebel fighters are being evacuated under a deal brokered by government ally Russia and rebel backer Turkey.

Many of those remaining in the area, reduced to an estimated 2 square kilometers after government forces broke rebel defenses in November, say they fear for their lives if they are captured.

Nearly 40,000 other residents crossed into government-held areas.

The enclave has been devastated by government airstrikes and shelling that has killed hundreds, and has been under siege for most of the last five months.

The military source had earlier predicted that the Syrian army would secure the remaining areas of eastern Aleppo after the departure of the last convoy and then declare the city to be fully under government control.

Despite the hitch, celebrations appeared to be taking place in the government-held west of Aleppo, where hundreds of people have also been killed by rebel shelling and mortar fire.

In the city’s Aziziyeh Square, a large Christmas tree was erected for the first time in four years. A small bomb exploded before the event, but no injuries resulted, police said.

An official with an aid group helping, receive the evacuees in rebel-held areas outside Aleppo said that their main concern was finding shelter, heating and washing facilities given the large numbers and below-freezing night-time temperatures.

Mohamed Katoub of the Syrian American Medical Association said that people were hungry but there were no cases of severe malnutrition, despite eastern Aleppo having been besieged by government forces for the last five months. 

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.