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Deal reached for evacuation of fighters and civilians from eastern Aleppo - UN

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By Catherine Hardy  with Reuters
Deal reached for evacuation of fighters and civilians from eastern Aleppo - UN

<p><br /> <br /> </p> <p>Russia’s UN envoy says a deal has been reached on the ground in Aleppo for opposition fighters to leave.</p> <p>“My latest information is that they indeed have an arrangement achieved on the ground that the fighters are going to leave the city,” <strong>Vitaly Churkin</strong> told reporters.</p> <p>“It could happen within hours.”</p> <br /> <br /> <h3><strong>On the ground</strong></h3> <br /> <br /> <p>The Syrian army says it could declare full control over eastern Aleppo “at any moment”.</p> <p>Government forces are advancing against rebels holed up in just a handful of neighbourhoods, predicting those districts would fall on Tuesday or Wednesday.</p> <p>Syrian government forces and their allies have reportedly taken full control of all the districts in Aleppo abandoned by rebels during their retreat from the city.</p> <p>Opposition defences collapsed on Monday, leading to a broad army advance across more than half of the remaining insurgent pckets in the city.</p> <br /> <br /> <h3><strong>What the Syrian military says</strong></h3> <br /> <br /> <p>A spokesperson says the military operation in the east of the city will end once Sukkari, Seif al-Dawla, Amiriya and Tel al-Zarazir are retaken.</p> <p>“The army continues to advance towards…Sukkari, what remains of Seif al-Dawla, part of al-Amiriya and Tel al-Zarazir,” a military spokesperson told Reuters during a tour of recaptured parts of Aleppo.</p> <p>“When the army regains control of these areas, its operation in the eastern areas of the city will have finished,” he added.</p> <br /> <br /> <h3><strong>Rebel withdrawal</strong></h3> <br /> <br /> <p>The spokesman added that rebels are continuing to reject withdrawing from the city.</p> <br /> <br /> <h3><strong>Reports of summary executions</strong></h3> <br /> <br /> <p>The UN says it has heard reports of Syrian government troops and allied Iraqi militia killing civilians in eastern Aleppo.</p> <p>82 people have reportedly been killed in four different neighbourhoods in the last few days.</p> <p>UN human rights spokesperson Rupert Colville has spoken of a deep fear of retribution against thousands of civilians still believed to be “holed up” in a “hellish corner” of less than a square kilometre of opposition-held areas.</p> <br /> <br /> <h3><strong>Trapped children</strong></h3> <br /> <br /> <p>Quoting a doctor working in the besieged part of the city, the UN’s childrens agency <span class="caps">UNICEF</span> says it fears more than 100 unaccompanied children are trapped in a building under heavy attack.</p> <br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"align="center"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The Latest: <span class="caps">UNICEF</span> cites reports, dozens of children trapped in a building under fire in eastern Aleppo. <a href="https://t.co/GsZ59koY4Z">https://t.co/GsZ59koY4Z</a></p>— The Associated Press (@AP) <a href="https://twitter.com/AP/status/808658087926239232">December 13, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> <br /> <h3><strong>Temporary shelter</strong></h3> <br /> <br /> <p>A temporary shelter, built on the site of an abandoned cotton plant, is currently providing accommodation for a large number of residents from Aleppo.</p> <p>“I have waited for 15 minutes. But if the wait continues, I will have to give up,” said one resident.</p> <p>“My wife and I have waited for an hour. I have got back pains while standing for such a long time,” said another elderly resident.</p> <p>Besides the queues for food, two temporary tents set up by Russian troops are now offering basic medical services for patients.</p> <br /> <br /> <h3><strong>A shocking image of war</strong></h3> <br /> <br /> <p>Footage of Omran Daqneesh brought the horrors of the conflict in Aleppo directly to the world’s attention earlier this year.</p> <p>The five-year-old was rescued after his home was hit during an airstrike on Aleppo.</p> <br /> <br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">How Omran Daqneesh, a 5-year-old Syrian boy, became a symbol of Aleppo’s suffering. <a href="https://t.co/igYJTxLNFo">https://t.co/igYJTxLNFo</a> <a href="https://t.co/4YHc34bukE">pic.twitter.com/4YHc34bukE</a></p>— New York Times Video (@nytvideo) <a href="https://twitter.com/nytvideo/status/806981967090741248">December 8, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> <br /> <h3><strong>In tweets</strong></h3> <br /> <br /> <blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"align="center"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">UN says civilians in Aleppo are being “shot on the spot.” Residents are sending out their last messages and saying <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AleppoExterminated?src=hash">#AleppoExterminated</a>. <a href="https://t.co/b1rwVGHTdh">pic.twitter.com/b1rwVGHTdh</a></p>— AJ+ (@ajplus) <a href="https://twitter.com/ajplus/status/808689699816501248">December 13, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> <br /> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"align="center"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Syrians send harrowing final goodbyes from Aleppo as government forces close in <a href="https://t.co/VGv6Id8Bhs">https://t.co/VGv6Id8Bhs</a> <a href="https://t.co/3M0hPwg1F7">pic.twitter.com/3M0hPwg1F7</a></p>— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) <a href="https://twitter.com/HuffingtonPost/status/808677497592221696">December 13, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> <br /> <blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"align="center"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">This drone footage reveals the extent of the of the devastation in Aleppo <a href="https://t.co/lcoFsopLww">https://t.co/lcoFsopLww</a> <a href="https://t.co/9Yevhv858u">https://t.co/9Yevhv858u</a></p>— Sky News (@SkyNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/808670475639353344">December 13, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <br /> <br />