In Syria: Vehicles still leaving Aleppo after overnight evacuation

In Syria: Vehicles still leaving Aleppo after overnight evacuation

Syrian rebels evacuated from Aleppo drive through rebel-held territory near Rashidin, west of the embattled city, on December 22, 2016

Snow, bad weather and the poor condition of some cars appeared to have slowed the operation on Wednesday in east Aleppo.

UN official in Syria on Thursday told newsmen that vehicles were still streaming out of eastern Aleppo after an overnight evacuation monitored by the UN.

Snow, bad weather and the poor condition of some cars appeared to have slowed the operation on Wednesday in east Aleppo.

UN said only a small number of rebels were still waiting to leave under an agreement with the Syrian government.

The official added that “the evacuation is still ongoing, monitors are still on site. About 300 private vehicles left overnight and this (Thursday) morning.”

A rebel contact inside Aleppo said the evacuation would continue.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appeared to be close to taking back control of Aleppo on Wednesday, but UN and rebel officials denied that an operation to evacuate fighters and civilians from the city had been completed.

It said about 30,000 people had been evacuated from Aleppo by Wednesday in a nearly week-long operation.

Report says the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also led the convoy of buses and ambulances with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent for the evacuation.

In Geneva, ICRC spokeswoman Krista Armstrong told newsmen that the evacuation would still take quite some time, possibly most of today.

The civilian evacuees have been taken mainly to opposition-held western rural Aleppo and Idlib province.

The last evacuees are believed to be fighters and their families.

“No fewer than 435 sick and wounded people have been medically evacuated, including dozens of children who require treatment mainly for trauma injuries,’’ the World Health Organisation said on Thursday.

The most critical cases were being taken to Turkey.

Punky

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