UPDATED: Russia promises 'no harm' to those being evacuated from Aleppo

2016-12-15 11:26

Get the latest updates from Aleppo as the operation to evacuate citizens gets underway. WARNING: Graphic content.


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Last Updated at 06:17
15 Dec 16:17
Nearly 1,000 people including fighters left the battered rebel-controlled parts of east Aleppo on Thursday under a fragile evacuation deal, a senior Syrian military source told AFP.The source said "951 people, including 200 fighters and 108 wounded, which also included rebels" made up the first convoy to be evacuated from the war-battered city. AFP

15 Dec 16:14
AFP reports : A convoy carrying the first evacuees from rebel-held parts of Syria's Aleppo arrived in opposition territory west of the city on Thursday, a doctor there and a monitor said."Red Crescent vehicles carrying the wounded have arrived, and the wounded will be transferred to... nearby hospitals for treatment," said Ahmad al-Dbis, who heads the unit of doctors and other volunteers coordinating the evacuation of wounded people.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor confirmed the first batch of evacuees had arrived.

15 Dec 15:17

 UN humanitarian aid coordinator for Syria says the UN has been locked out of an evacuation plan for the embattled eastern Aleppo and pro-government forces have blocked some aid vehicles from entering the rebel enclave in the city.

Jan Egeland of the UN Syria envoy's office says an estimated 50 000 people have fled eastern Aleppo, where rebel fighters have increasingly lost control, and are now in contact with UN personnel and their partners.

15 Dec 15:15
Terror as a plane passes overhead

15 Dec 15:04

15 Dec 14:58

Ambulances and buses carrying the first evacuees from Aleppo left remaining rebel-held territory in the city on Thursday under a fragile exit deal, an AFP correspondent reported.

A slow-moving convoy of around 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.

15 Dec 14:52

15 Dec 14:44
Syrian TV shows convoy of ambulances with wounded civilians starting to evacuate from eastern Aleppo.

15 Dec 14:37

UN humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland has just been briefing reporters in Geneva on the operation.

“It’s a three-pronged evacuation - a medical evacuation of wounded and sick, an evacuation of vulnerable civilians, and it is an evacuation of fighters,” he said.

Mr Egeland added that Russia, which backs the Syrian government, had just told the UN's humanitarian taskforce how the evacuation would take place.

"They confirmed that Russians will be monitoring, that this is a swift, unbureaucratic, non-intrusive evacuation, and that no harm will meet those who are evacuated."

15 Dec 14:13

French President Francois Hollande hit out on Thursday at Russia's role in the ongoing siege of Aleppo, saying that Moscow had broken a promise to aid trapped civilians.

"Russia is making commitments that it is not keeping. There's a moment where you have to answer with action," Hollande told reporters as he arrived for an EU summit overshadowed by events in the besieged city where Syrian and Russian forces are forcing out rebels.

15 Dec 14:02

Aleppo's mayor has appealed to EU leaders to send monitors to help ensure the safety of thousands of civilians trying to flee the besieged Syrian city.

Speaking outside EU headquarters in Brussels, he said "we never asked any country to go to war ... we only ask to save civilians and secure some corridors for their evacuation."

He warned that 50 000 civilians in eastern Aleppo "are about to be victims of a general massacre."

15 Dec 14:01
Aerial photographs of convoys ready to evacuate citizens.

15 Dec 13:49

15 Dec 13:45

15 Dec 13:42

Syria state TV says 29 buses and ambulances are heading to two Shiite villages besieged by rebels to evacuate the sick and other in need there.

The Syrian government's allies also demanded that he sick and other humanitarian cases in the besieged villages in northern Idlib province be allowed to leave.

State TV quoted Syrian Hama provincial governor Mohammed al-Hazouri as saying the vehicles, ambulances and medical teams are heading to Foua and Kfraya to evacuate some families and critical cases.

15 Dec 13:15

15 Dec 13:14

Syrian activists say residents in eastern Aleppo are starting to board buses and ambulances, the first step in an evacuation that is part of the rebel enclave's effective surrender.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group says ambulances and municipal buses crossed from the government territory and arrived shortly after noon on Thursday in the last rebel area in Aleppo.


15 Dec 13:12

15 Dec 13:00
Brita Hagi Hasan, mayor of eastern Aleppo, is set to brief the European Council on the crisis in Aleppo, at a summit in Brussels today.

15 Dec 12:55

A Palestinian-born Danish volunteer helping out with evacuations in rebel-held parts of Aleppo says he is part of a six-vehicle ambulance convoy that will head to a nearby hospital with "about 2 000 of those wounded."

Khalid Alsubeihi spoke to Denmark's TV2 channel on Thursday from the besieged city where the pullout of rebels and civilians from the eastern enclave is expected to start later in the day, according to AFP.

Alsubeihi says the convoy "will be one of the first groups that are being evacuated" and expressed hope that everything will go smoothly and that the Syrian government and the Russians will abide by their pledges "this time."

15 Dec 12:51

15 Dec 12:49

15 Dec 12:33

15 Dec 12:32
A Russian military official was quoted as saying 5 000 rebels and their families would be evacuated via a 21km-long humanitarian corridor.

15 Dec 12:28
International Committee of the Red Cross in Syria has confirmed that the operation is underway.

15 Dec 12:17
Buses which will be used to evacuate rebel fighters and their families from rebel-held areas of Aleppo are seen waiting. (Youseef Karwashan, AFP)

15 Dec 12:15
BBC's foreign news producer has tweeted Russian military footage allegedly showing green evacuation buses moving into eastern Aleppo.

15 Dec 12:09
A wounded boy sits inside an ambulance as Syrian rebels and their families gather at the rebel-held al-Amiriyah neighbourhood as they wait to be evacuated. (Karam Al-Masri, AFP)

15 Dec 12:05
An injured man sits inside an ambulance as Syrian rebels and their families gather at the rebel-held al-Amiriyah neighbourhood while waiting to be evacuated. (Karam Al-Masri, AFP)

15 Dec 11:56
A journalist for The Guardian says evacuations have begun 

15 Dec 11:49
There are conflicting reports about whether the evacuation is underway or not. 

15 Dec 11:43

15 Dec 11:43

At least one person has been killed by pro-government militias during the evacuation, according to reports.

Speaking to Al Jazeera on Thursday morning, Ibrahim Abu Allaith of the Syrian Civil Defence said there are at least three people in medical operations currently.

15 Dec 11:35

Protests have begun across the world in solidarity with the inhabitants of the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo.

15 Dec 11:32

At least 4 000 rebels and their families will be evacuated from the last opposition-held districts of Syria's Aleppo, state television reported.

"Four thousand rebels with their families will be evacuated from the eastern districts of Aleppo," the television said in a breaking news alert.

15 Dec 11:29

Footage from Syrian activists purport to show people from eastern Aleppo boarding ambulances.

The group Syria Charity says no one has yet left the area.

15 Dec 11:28

Syrian activists say pro-government forces have shot at ambulances trying to leave eastern Aleppo, wounding at least 3 evacuees.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the ambulances were still in opposition territory when they came under small-arms fire from the government side on Thursday.

It says three people were wounded.

15 Dec 11:26

The Russian military says it's preparing for the rebels' withdrawal from Aleppo.The military's Center for Reconciliation in Syria says that 20 buses and 10 ambulances are prepared to carry the rebels to Idlib on Thursday.

The center says it's preparing for the rebels' exit together with the Syrian government.

It says Syrian authorities have given security guarantees to all rebels willing to leave Aleppo.

The Russian military also says it's monitoring the situation using drones.

15 Dec 11:26

A Syrian army official confirms that all is ready for rebels and civilians to start leaving Aleppo "at any moment."

15 Dec 11:26

The media arm of Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group says overnight negotiations have reinforced a cease-fire deal to allow Syrian rebels and tens of thousands of civilians to leave the besieged eastern city of Aleppo.

It says Syrian rebels will likely begin leaving their last holdout in Aleppo "in the coming hours."

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