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'Hundreds of civilians detained in regime-held region' of Aleppo

Image of civilians escaping the smoke which was caused by airstrikes in Aleppo, Syria on 21 November 2016 [Jawad al Rifai/Anadolu Agency]
Image of civilians escaping the smoke which was caused by airstrikes in Aleppo, Syria on 21 November 2016 [Jawad al Rifai/Anadolu Agency]

The Syrian regime and pro-regime forces have detained hundreds of civilians in regime-held areas of Aleppo, a local activist said yesterday.

Speaking in a video which she published on Twitter, Lina Shamy claimed that a large number of people came back from the evacuation point to the city after the regime and pro-regime forces breached the truce.

Stating that there are still thousands of civilians and injured people in the besieged part of Aleppo, she shared images of people returning from the evacuation point.

"There is no international monitoring on [the] evacuation," Shamy claimed.

She also claimed that the Red Cross and humanitarian organisations have left the civilians alone in regime-held region, adding that those people "could not come back", and have been threatened with a massacre.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday urged on Twitter: "All parties and the international community to abide by the truce agreement and support the implementation of the evacuation process."

"The Turkey-brokered truce in Aleppo and the continuation of evacuations is the only hope left for innocent people," he added.

Before the statement, a UN official told reporters in Geneva that the evacuation of civilians was suspended without explaingin why.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Syria representative Elizabeth Hoff stated: "I do not have the reasons. That has not been provided to me – why it was aborted l do not know. l hope it is only suspended."

Though they do not know how many people remain in eastern Aleppo, Hoff said: "There is a very high number of people who should be evacuated."

Hoff also said staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the WHO have been told to leave the area following the suspension.

Earlier this week, Syrian opposition forces in eastern Aleppo reached a ceasefire deal with President Bashar Al-Assad's forces to evacuate civilians from the city.

Since then, at least 7,500 civilians have left Aleppo for safe areas in Idlib – which is located near the border with Turkey – according to Syrian opposition group officials.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when Al-Assad's regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests, which erupted as part of the "Arab Spring" uprisings, with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-battered country, according to the UN. The Syrian Centre for Policy Research, however, put the death toll from the six-year conflict at more than 470,000 people.

Europe & RussiaMiddle EastNewsPalestineSyriaTurkey
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