Thousands of Civilians Evacuated From East Aleppo

Thousands of Civilians Evacuated From East Aleppo
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At least 3,000 civilians and rebels were evacuated from East Aleppo under a deal allowing Syria’s regime to take full control of the city after years of fighting, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.

People who had pleaded to escape city were forced to confront never returning home again.  A revived agreement on a ceasefire and the evacuations were announced on Thursday after an initial plan for civilians and fighters to leave rebel-held parts of the city collapsed the previous day amid renewed clashes.

Despite the evacuation, the UN warned almost 50,000 remained in the war-torn Syrian city.

The evacuation began with a convoy of ambulances and buses crossing into a government-held district in southern Aleppo at 2:30pm local time (1230GMT). A slow-moving convoy of two dozen vehicles snaked out of Al-Amiriyah district and crossed into government-held Ramussa en route to rebel-held territory in the west of Aleppo province.

Many were in tears and some hesitated to board, afraid they would end up in the hands of regime forces. For many, it wasn’t easy to say goodbye. On the dusty window of one of the buses someone had written “one day we will return”.

Each bus carried a member of the Syrian Red Crescent wearing the organisation’s red uniform, riding at the front next to the driver.

Before they departed, a few people burned what they couldn’t take with them, furniture, motorcycles, cars etc.

As darkness fell over the city, a third convoy was in the process of evacuating more citizens, Syrian state television reported. But the evacuation got off to a shaky start on Thursday.

 

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