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Iran Press TV

Militant evacuations from east Aleppo resume: UN

Iran Press TV

Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:57PM

The United Nations says that the evacuation of militants and civilians from the eastern side of Syria's Aleppo has resumed.

"Evacuations are on. Buses and ambulances are leaving east Aleppo now," the UN official said in an email message to Reuters, noting that the first people left Aleppo at around 2100 GMT.

According to medical officials, around 350 people were able to leave the remaining militant-held areas in eastern Aleppo.

"Five buses carrying the evacuees arrived from besieged parts of east Aleppo," said Ahmad al-Dbis, who heads a team of doctors and volunteers coordinating evacuations to militant-held Khan al-Assal.

The evacuation was first set to resume earlier in the day, but was postponed after militants attacked and burned around 20 of the buses that had arrived to transport them out of the city.

According to the so-called the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights a bus driver was killed in the incident which halted the evacuations postponement in the "absence of security guarantees for the evacuees."

The initial evacuation deal between the government and militants fell through on Frida 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 Fua'a and Kefraya in Idlib province despite an agreement reached the day before.

UNSC Aleppo vote postponed

The US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said that the council will vote on Monday over a new draft resolution aimed at sending observers to Aleppo.

"We expect to vote unanimously for this text tomorrow at 1400 GMT," she noted.

Earlier, Russia had warned that it will block the France proposed resolution and would submit its own proposal for the monitoring process.

"We cannot support it, we cannot allow it to pass because this is a disaster," said the Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin.

On December 16, Russia announced that the Syrian military was in full control of the militant-held eastern Aleppo.

Since March 2011, Syria has been hit by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies. The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the UN have put the death toll from the Syria conflict at more than 300,000 and 400,000, respectively. This is while the UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.

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