Tamil Diplomat

Aleppo Syria battle: Evacuation continues as truce holds

The evacuation of Syrian civilians and rebels from eastern Aleppo is continuing round the clock, as a truce was reported to be holding overnight. The International Committee of the Red Cross told the BBC aid workers wanted to keep the momentum going.

More than 3,000 people were bussed out on the first day of the evacuation on Thursday, but the UN says as many as 50,000 are still trapped there. Syria’s army, backed by Russia, has taken nearly all rebel-held districts.

The US accused the Syrian government of carrying out “nothing short of a massacre” in the city. “The only remaining question is whether the Syrian regime, with Russia’s support, is willing to go to Geneva prepared to negotiate constructively, and whether or not they’re willing to stop this slaughter of their own people,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

Syria and Russia have repeatedly denied targeting civilians. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday hailed the “liberation” of Aleppo after more than four years of fighting, saying that history was being made.(BBC,2016)