• Syria army urges remaining rebels to leave Aleppo


    DAMASCUS: Syria’s army on Tuesday urged the last remaining rebels and civilians to leave the bombed-out eastern quarters of Aleppo, a military source told AFP.

    “The army is expected to enter (Aleppo) to clean the area after the fighters leave,” the source said.

    He said soldiers “issued a call over megaphones to the remaining fighters and civilians who want to leave, to exit the eastern districts.”

    Thousands of people have been evacuated from Syria’s second city since a landmark deal — brokered by Turkey and Russia — was reached last week.

    The agreement for civilians and rebels to quit the last sliver of opposition-controlled territory in the city paves the way for the government to declare full control over Aleppo.

    Aleppo was once Syria’s commercial and industrial hub, but it has been divided since 2012 between government forces in the west and rebel control in the east.

    Government forces launched an offensive in mid-November to capture the whole city, and had seized more than 90 percent of the eastern half when the evacuation deal was struck.

    More than 310,000 people have been killed since Syria’s conflict erupted in March 2011, and millions more have been displaced.



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