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Evacuation of Aleppo begins

TRANS ASIA NEWS

Aleppo:- An operation to evacuate thousands of civilians and fighters from the last rebel bastion in Aleppo is underway on Thursday, part of a ceasefire deal that promises to end years of fighting for the city and mark a major victory for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said the evacuation of around 200 wounded people had started.
Russia, a major ally of Assad, said 5,000 Syrian rebels and family members were being brought out of eastern Aleppo.
The convoy of 10 ambulances and at least 17 green buses with nearly 1,000 aboard drove from the Ramousah district next to the rebel-held area of Aleppo, which was besieged for months by Syrian government forces, a Reuters reporter on the scene said.
Rebel officials have said that civilians who wish to leave will also be able to do so as part of the ceasefire and evacuation deal. Women ululated in celebration as the buses passed through a government-held area, and some waved the Syrian flag.
"Thousands of people are in need of evacuation, but the first and most urgent thing is wounded, sick and children, including orphans," said Jan Egeland, the UN humanitarian adviser for Syria.
Columns of black smoke could be seen rising from the rebel-held area, where residents hoping to depart were burning personal belongings they do not want to leave for government forces to loot.
"Outside every building you see a small fire, papers, women's clothes," one resident told Reuters.
Russian soldiers were preparing to lead rebels out of Aleppo, the defence ministry in Moscow said. Syria had guaranteed the safety of rebels and their families, who would be taken towards Idlib, a city in northwestern Syria.

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