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Syrian army poised to enter east Aleppo

Image of an Army tank belonging to the Syrian government [Abkhazian Network News Agency/Wikipedia]
Army tank belonging to the Syrian government, 9 December 2016 [Abkhazian Network News Agency/Wikipedia]

Syria's army broadcasted messages into the last opposition held enclave of Aleppo saying it would enter the area today, Reuters reported.

An official from opposition fighters based in Turkey told Reuters that only about half of the civilians who wanted to leave Aleppo had done so after the departure of thousands of people yesterday. The official said that opposition forces would only leave when all the civilians had done so.

Civilians are also being evacuated from two mostly Shia Muslim villages near Idlib that have been besieged by opposition forces for years and taken to Aleppo as part of the deal that allowed the departure of insurgents from the city.

The Hezbollah military media unit, which was cited by Reuters, reported that eight more buses of evacuees from Foua and Kefraya departed at dawn today.

The withdrawal of opposition fighters from Aleppo after a series of rapid advances by the army and allied Shia militias including Hezbollah since late November has brought President Bashar Al-Assad his biggest victory of the civil war.

However, despite the capture of Aleppo and progress against insurgents near Damascus, the fighting is still far from over, with large areas remaining in opposition control in the north-western countryside and in the far south.

The jihadist group Daesh also controls swathes of territory in the deserts and Euphrates river basin in eastern Syria.

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International OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsSyriaUN
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