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

Deal reached for evacuation of fighters and civilians from eastern Aleppo - UN
By Catherine Hardy with Reuters
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There are reports of summary executions as government forces advance against rebels holed up in a handful of neighbourhoods.


Russia’s UN envoy says a deal has been reached on the ground in Aleppo for opposition fighters to leave.

“My latest information is that they indeed have an arrangement achieved on the ground that the fighters are going to leave the city,” Vitaly Churkin told reporters.

“It could happen within hours.”

On the ground

The Syrian army says it could declare full control over eastern Aleppo “at any moment”.

Government forces are advancing against rebels holed up in just a handful of neighbourhoods, predicting those districts would fall on Tuesday or Wednesday.

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.

Opposition defences collapsed on Monday, leading to a broad army advance across more than half of the remaining insurgent pckets in the city.

What the Syrian military says

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.

“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.

“When the army regains control of these areas, its operation in the eastern areas of the city will have finished,” he added.

Rebel withdrawal

The spokesman added that rebels are continuing to reject withdrawing from the city.

Reports of summary executions

The UN says it has heard reports of Syrian government troops and allied Iraqi militia killing civilians in eastern Aleppo.

82 people have reportedly been killed in four different neighbourhoods in the last few days.

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.

Trapped children

Quoting a doctor working in the besieged part of the city, the UN’s childrens agency UNICEF says it fears more than 100 unaccompanied children are trapped in a building under heavy attack.

The Latest: UNICEF cites reports, dozens of children trapped in a building under fire in eastern Aleppo.

— The Associated Press (@AP) December 13, 2016

Temporary shelter

A temporary shelter, built on the site of an abandoned cotton plant, is currently providing accommodation for a large number of residents from Aleppo.

“I have waited for 15 minutes. But if the wait continues, I will have to give up,” said one resident.

“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.


Besides the queues for food, two temporary tents set up by Russian troops are now offering basic medical services for patients.

A shocking image of war

Footage of Omran Daqneesh brought the horrors of the conflict in Aleppo directly to the world’s attention earlier this year.

The five-year-old was rescued after his home was hit during an airstrike on Aleppo.

How Omran Daqneesh, a 5-year-old Syrian boy, became a symbol of Aleppo’s suffering.

— New York Times Video (@nytvideo) December 8, 2016

In tweets

UN says civilians in Aleppo are being “shot on the spot.” Residents are sending out their last messages and saying #AleppoExterminated.

— AJ+ (@ajplus) December 13, 2016

Syrians send harrowing final goodbyes from Aleppo as government forces close in

— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) December 13, 2016

This drone footage reveals the extent of the of the devastation in Aleppo

— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 13, 2016

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