Syria Aleppo Crisis Update: Evacuations to Begin as Opposing Forces Agree on Truce, Ceasefire Back on Track

( [email protected] ) Dec 14, 2016 09:18 PM EST
Evacuation of civilians and rebel troops may start anytime Thursday as both sides finally come to a compromise on conditions for the ceasefire.
Aleppo has been taken over by the Syrian government. Twitter/CNN

The fear of a possible failure in the evacuation of civilians from war-torn Aleppo has been dismissed and may begin anytime Thursday as Syrian regime and rebel officials have mutually confirmed truce agreements.

This, after uncertain events that led to some confusion regarding the ceasefire to mark the Syrian regime forces to regain control of Aleppo by allowing rebel troops and civilians to leave the beleaguered city.

But despite reports of ongoing airstrikes and clashes in the few remaining strongholds on Wednesday, officials from both sides have finally confirmed that truce is back on track and may very soon begin evacuation procedures for tens of thousands of civilians caught in the crossfire.

Abdul Salam Abdul Razak, the spokesperson for the rebel group Nour al-Din al Zinki, said that they have reached an agreement with the Syrian government emissaries to allow civilians and the remaining rebel troops to evacuate from Aleppo to villages of Idlib province to seek refuge by heading to the west of the city.

"Within the coming hours its implementation will begin," said Razak during an interview with Reuters. He also said that since both sides have already recognized the ceasefire agreement, the planned exodus may begin in the next few hours.

 This development is sure to herald the victory of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and is believed to put an end to the Syrian civil war that started five years ago. Assad's troops were backed by Russian and Iran, after the Syrian civil war broke out after rebel troops took over Aleppo from government control. The raiding forces were backed by the United States.

A truce was originally brokered by Turkey early this week along with Russia, but it did not immediately take effect due to the ongoing airstrikes and bombings that led to the stalling of the initial ceasefire plan. Turkey charged that government troops were responsible for the attacks.

The United Nations, on the other hand, charged that the bombardment campaigns of the Syrian troops would be considered war crimes according to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein.

"While the reasons for the breakdown in the ceasefire are disputed, the resumption of extremely heavy bombardment by the Syrian government forces and their allies in an area packed with civilians is almost certainly a violation of international law and most likely constitutes war crimes," al-Hussein said.

The planned evacuations were supposed to have been started by early Wednesday, however, took a turn for the worse when bombings continued and the evacuation procedures have to be stopped. This, according to reports, after UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon announced that war atrocities continue to occur despite ongoing talks of a truce between the opposing forces Tuesday.

Ban said that they have been receiving reports on the ground that civilians- including women and children - are still being slaughtered by pro-government troops. The UN called it the worst humanitarian war crime of the 21st century.



Tags : Syria Civil War, Aleppo, ceasefire, Russia, United Nations