World, Middle East

Civilian convoy leaves eastern Aleppo for Idlib

Convoy of 20 buses is carrying at least 200 injured people – over 50 in critical condition – to opposition-held Idlib

15.12.2016
Civilian convoy leaves eastern Aleppo for Idlib

By Murat Karadag, Hakan Ceyhan Aydogan and Ali Abo Rezeg 

ANKARA

An Idlib-bound civilian convoy has departed from war-torn eastern Aleppo in Syria after its first attempt was met by attacks from Shia militias, according to local reports.

The convoy of 20 buses is carrying at least 200 injured people – over 50 in critical condition – according to an Anadolu Agency reporter at the scene.

The first convoy has gone through the regime-held checkpoints in Ramuse district, Anadolu Agency reporter said. 

After a 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) drive in the regime-controlled areas, the convoy will reach opposition-held western Aleppo and later Idlib, which borders Turkey's southern Hatay province. 

The convoy’s first attempt to leave Aleppo earlier Thursday was hindered when Iranian-backed Shia militias opened gunfire, killing at least four civilians. 

The civilians on buses were waiting to move to the Ramuse district before their convoy came under attack.

Gen. Valery Gerasimov, Russian’s chief of General Staff, said the evacuation of around 5,000 people, including armed groups, from eastern Aleppo had started. 

He said a 21-kilometer (13-mile) long humanitarian corridor had been created for the evacuation. 

A Russian military coordination center in Syria also announced that they were watching the convoy with drones.

It also said that in addition to buses, 10 ambulances were present for the safe passage of civilians to other areas.

The International Committee of the Red Cross and Syrian Arab Red Crescent have reportedly escorted the convoy out of eastern Aleppo. 


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