Thousands evacuated from eastern Aleppo

December 20, 2016

Some 20,000 people have been evacuated from Syria's east Aleppo so far and efforts continue to bring more people out, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday.

Cavusoglu had said earlier on Monday that 12,000 people had been evacuated, Reuters reported.
Since the early hours of Monday, as many as 65 buses have transferred the evacuees from Aleppo’s eastern side to militant-held territory in Khan Tuman, a village southwest of Aleppo, and Idlib.
Meanwhile, the so-called UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday that an estimated 500 people had been taken out of the two besieged Shia villages of al-Fou'a and Kefraya in the neighboring Idlib Province.
According to Syrian media, the evacuation of wounded and civilians trapped in the two villages was a condition for the evacuation of militants in eastern Aleppo.
Recently, Russia and Turkey reached a deal enabling the evacuation of thousands of trapped civilians and militants from Aleppo.
The process was, however, halted after the militants violated the ceasefire deal and blocked the transfer of civilians from al-Fou'a and Kefraya.
On Saturday, it was reported that the government and the militants were working on a new deal to resume evacuations from the villages as well as two towns near the Lebanese border.
The evacuations, which were initially set to start earlier on Sunday, were postponed after the militants attacked and burned around 20 of the buses that had arrived to transport people out of the two villages.
Takfiri militants seized Aleppo back in 2012. The city was recently restored to government control on the back of a month-long military operation. The Syrian government is now in control of all major cities.
Russia, France formulate ‘good’ Aleppo proposal  
Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council is scheduled to vote on a draft resolution on Aleppo evacuations at 9:00 local time (1400 GMT) in New York.
Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Sunday that Moscow has composed a “good” draft resolution together with Paris on a UN monitoring process to ensure safe evacuations out of Aleppo.
The UNSC was previously scheduled to vote on a French-drafted proposal on Sunday. Russia had, however, taken exception to the draft, saying the monitors were far from prepared to take on the mission.
The Russian mission had, accordingly, threatened to veto the resolution, which it condemned as nothing but “a disaster” and said it would put forward its own proposal. France’s UN envoy Francois Delattre had, however, ruled out the possibility of any compromise on the contents of the draft with the Russian mission.
Commenting on the likely composition of the agreed text, a source from one of the delegations at the UNSC told journalists that the Council had been discussing the possibility of merging the Russian and French texts, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported.
The amended draft resolution would prevent "mass atrocities" in areas still besieged by militants in Aleppo, Delattre said.
The liberation of Aleppo has not sat easily with the devoted opponents of the Syrian government, who have been open-handedly providing militants with financial and political support over the past five years to secure the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad. The militants have been receiving patronage from the United States, Turkey, and certain Persian Gulf states.
---------Syria rages at infanticide
Also the Syrian government sent separate messages to the UNSC and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, condemning the terrorists’ using of children for terror operations.
The inhumane actions, Damascus said, indicated that the countries supporting the militants, whom they call “moderates,” have no concern about the life of the young ones.
The United States, France, the UK, and their allies should immediately stop the support, it added.
(Source; agencies)

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