Aleppo Evacuation to Resume in New Deal
A new deal had reportedly been reached between the Syrian government and the militants in the city of Aleppo to resume the evacuations of civilians and the remaining armed groups from the east of the city, after an earlier halt in the evacuation operations.
At least 6,000 people had left Aleppo but evacuations were stopped on Friday after the militants fired on corridors set up to let out the civilians and militants in eastern Aleppo and prevented residents from leaving the two militant-besieged villages of Foua and Kefraya in Idlib Province despite an agreement reached the day before.
Reports on Saturday quoted Syrian government sources as saying that the new deal would see a resumption of the evacuations. The fresh deal was reportedly reached after the militants agreed to allow residents out of the two villages.
Earlier on Saturday, Syria's armed opposition had said that a new agreement was struck to complete the evacuations from the militant-held areas of eastern Aleppo.
Al-Farouk Abu Bakr, a Syrian militant, told news channel al-Arabiya al-Hadath on Saturday that the deal included an evacuation from the two villages in Idlib as well as from the towns of Madaya and Zabadani.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition monitoring group, said some 4,000 people, including injured ones, could be evacuated from the villages starting from Saturday.
Syrian state TV, meanwhile, said starting the Idlib evacuations was the main condition for allowing the Aleppo exodus to continue.
The United Nations Security Council is expected to vote over the weekend on a French-drafted proposal to ensure the operation is coordinated by international observers, with humanitarian aid allowed into Aleppo and hospitals given protection.
Correspondents said thousands of cold and hungry civilians remain stranded in the militant-occupied east, waiting to be moved to safety.
The UN's children's charity UNICEF said sick and wounded children are among the evacuees from east Aleppo, some of whom left without their parents.
"However, hundreds of other vulnerable children, including orphans, remain trapped inside that part of the city," it added.
It went on to say: "We are extremely concerned about their fate. If these children are not evacuated urgently, they could die."
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team