Aleppo evacuation starts with UN assistance

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ARA News

Aleppo The United Nations was invited on Thursday to assist and monitor the evacuation of thousands of sick and injured people, including civilians and opposition fighters, from the remaining rebel-held districts of Syria’s war-torn city of Aleppo, officials reported.

After a meeting with members of the Humanitarian Access Task Force of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in Geneva, UN senior advisor on Syrian, Jan Egeland, explained the UN’s “three-pronged evacuation plan”.

“The plan includes medical evacuations for the wounded and sick, evacuations for vulnerable civilians, and evacuations of fighters,” according to Egeland, who added that the agreement was not made on behalf of the UN, “but rather through direct talks of the various parties to the Syrian war.”

The evacuees from the formerly rebel-held eastern Aleppo will be accompanied by representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), with assistance and monitoring from the United Nations. Most of the evacuees are expected to head to Idlib Governorate.

According to Mr Egeland, Russia will also monitor the situation and ensure that the evacuations that follow are “swift, [non-bureaucratic] and non-intrusive” and that those being evacuated would be guaranteed safety.

“We all feel strongly that the history of Aleppo through this war will be a ‘black chapter’ in the history of international relations. It took 4,000 years to build Aleppo, hundreds of generations, yet one generation managed to tear it down in four years. Aleppo, for three thousand years, gave to the world civilization and world civilization was not there to assist the people of Aleppo when they needed us the most,” the senior official said.

Battle Ends After Years of Bloodshed

Syrian rebel groups in Aleppo agreed to withdraw from the besieged eastern part of the war-ravaged city on Tuesday evening, after a ceasefire agreement was reached.

The rebel resistance ended after the armed opposition groups suffered heavy losses under siege and bombardment by the Syrian Army forces, allied militias and the Russian Air Force.

“The battle for Aleppo has ended with a victory for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and Russia,” human rights activist Louay al-Halabi told ARA News.

This comes after years of fighting that claimed lives of tens of thousands in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Local sources told ARA News that over 100,000 people were evacuated from the formerly rebel-held Eastern Aleppo. Most of them headed to the regime-controlled western neighborhoods of the city.

“Over the last hour we have received information that the military activities in east Aleppo have stopped, it has stopped,” Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the UN Security Council on Tuesday evening. “The Syrian government has established control over east Aleppo.”

In the meantime, spokesman of the al-Shamiya Front rebel group, Salih al-Zein, told ARA News: “We have resisted pro-Assad militias for years. But, unfortunately, nobody helped us.”

“We have lost many brave men in this fight. Eventually, the regime that has massacred tens of thousands of innocent civilians with barrel bombs was saved by Russia and Iranian militias,” the rebel spokesman said.

Reporting by: Helin Saeed | Source: ARA News

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