Over 78,000 civilians have escaped Aleppo since start of Syrian forces’ operation

FILE PHOTO © Abdalrhman IsmailRT

Since the operation to liberate Aleppo began, more than 78,000 civilians have been evacuated from eastern Aleppo with help from the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the warring parties.

The сenter is monitoring the evacuation of civilians from the blocked districts round-the-clock with the use of drones.

“Over the past night, 2,124 civilians, including 1,007 children, were evacuated from the rebel-held areas of Aleppo, with help from the Russian Center for Reconciliation. Some 291 militants laid down their weapons and crossed into the western part of the city to surrender to Syrian government troops,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Sunday.

“Currently, the Russian Center for Reconciliation, through humanitarian corridors near Karim El-Hun and Mahayar, has organized the evacuation of [another group of] about 8,000 civilians from the eastern parts of Aleppo to the safe areas of the city,” Konashenkov added. “All of them have been placed in special humanitarian centers where they are provided with hot food and medical help if required.”

“About 1,324 militants have laid down their weapons and crossed into areas of the city to surrender to Syrian government troops. In accordance with the Syrian president’s decision, 1,270 were amnestied,” the Russian Center for Reconciliation said in a statement on Sunday.

Bomb disposal specialists working in Aleppo have demined a total area of 24 hectares (2.6 square feet), including 162 residential blocks and 11 kilometers of roads, the statement added.

Russian crews have also helped to restore over 20 buildings – schools, hospitals, mosques, power substations, water pumping stations, and bakeries among them, according to the center.

In total, bomb disposal specialists have detected and destroyed about 1,340 explosive objects in the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo that have been liberated from rebel forces.

On Thursday, the Syrian Army was said to have suspended active combat actions in Aleppo against Al-Nusra Front and other radical militants still controlling the area. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the evacuation of civilians was prioritized over the advance.

Active combat operations by the Syrian Army in eastern Aleppo have been suspended because another, largest operation of evacuation of civilians from East Aleppo is being carried out,” Lavrov said, adding that it’s a “colossal operation.”

The Syrian government now controls 93 percent of Aleppo, the head of operations for Russia’s General Staff, Lieutenant General Sergey Rudskoy, also said on Friday.

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