Aleppo, Syria December 16, 2016. A new wave of evacuees from the besieged part of Aleppo have been hijacked by what are expected to be Shia militia. 800 people have been hold, among whom 20 rebel fighters. The people in the Rasheeden district, who were waiting to receive the evacuees, have left due to the serious deteriorating security situation there as jets are hovering in the area. Since the morning heavy clashes have taken place in the Al-Sukkari and Zabdya neighbourhoods of Aleppo. The regime forces are bombing the area through artillery and mortar fire. However, Images live is now confirming that negotiations are now resuming.
The current evacuation of civilians from the besieged part of Aleppo has come to the halt following the refusal of opposition rebels in Idlib to allow the evacuation of the wounded from the two Shia villages of Fua and Kefraya, which are under the siege of the opposition forces.
Thursday evacuation had been part of a new ceasefire agreed by the different parties after government forces, backed by Russian allies, took nearly all remaining rebel-held parts of Aleppo this week.
The evacuation took place from 2pm yesterday until 9.30 this morning. It has allowed the evacuation of the sick and injured together with their families. They were transported from the besieged part of Aleppo through the Al Ramousa crossing into the Al-Rashedeen rebel-hold neighbourhood of Aleppo by means of convoys of ambulances and buses. A number of 7,500 people were evacuated in total; among them there were 800 injured and twenty of them were taken directly to a hospital in Turkey. The evacuation from Eastern Aleppo was supervised by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
Those whose injuries were less severe were taken to different hospitals in Syria, while other evacuees were housed in school buildings. The evacuation has continued until the suspension due to the dispute over the evacuation of the injured in the Fua and Kefraya villages. The halt of the process risks the resuming of hostilities while preventing the rescuing of those civilians left in the besieged part of Aleppo.
The Jaish Al-Mujaheeden , which is part of the Free Syrian Army has announced to all those able to carry arms to do so in preparation to the next battles in the Aleppo countryside and in Idlib. They stated that they are ready to provide the weapons to anybody willing to join the fighting. Ordinary people in the rebel-held areas have begun digging for shelters for their own protection in view of the restart of the fighting.
Report: Tina Lozio
Photographer: Juma Mohammad