Syria suspends Aleppo evacuations, blaming rebels

Published in World
Friday, 16 December 2016 15:25

The Syrian government has suspended the evacuation of civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, accusing rebels of breaking terms of the ceasefire. Government sources said rebels had blocked the evacuation of civilians from two pro-government towns elsewhere in Syria, agreed under the deal.
Meanwhile buses carrying people from eastern Aleppo were fired upon. At least 6,000 people have left the city since Thursday, but the UN says at least 50,000 are still trapped. Syria's army, backed by Russia, has taken nearly all rebel-held districts in eastern Aleppo.
The operation to move thousands of people from the areas of eastern Aleppo under attack from the government is extremely delicate. World Health Organisation official Elizabeth Hoff said the planned evacuation of the sick and wounded had been halted on Friday on orders from Russian forces, and that no reason had been given.
However, Syrian state media said the mission was suspended after rebels tried to smuggle heavy weapons and captives out with them as they left the besieged enclaves.



 

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