Aleppo ceasefire hits obstacle, evacuation of rebels proceeds after more violence erupts

UPDATE — 12/19, 9:49 a.m. EST: A deal brokered between Russia and Turkey to end hostilities in Aleppo, Syria, is being adhered to as of Monday as the UN determines the role of dispersing monitors to oversee evacuation of the war-torn city.

According to various reports, between 15,000 and 40,000 civilians remain in Aleppo, as well as 6,000 anti-government militiamen. 

UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian evacuations will be completed by the end of Monday in three stages in Aleppo, as well as other rebel-controlled towns throughout the country.

 

A ceasefire guaranteeing the safe passage of Syrian opposition fighters and civilians from rebel-held Aleppo was briefly threatened after one insurgent group detonated a car bomb and sporadic fighting momentarily erupted between opposition groups and Syrian government troops.

The deal brokered by the U.S. via Turkey and Russia agreed to on Tuesday was temporarily delayed when some rebel groups balked at evacuation procedures in select quarters of the city.

Following the interruption to the cessation of hostilities Wednesday, rebel officials and pro-government representatives announced an evacuation of civilians from areas formerly held by Syrian rebels was underway.

As the exodus began, the first buses provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent arrived to take on the wounded and sick; Red Cross vehicles were followed by an estimated 50 government buses to transport over 1,000 civilians from inside the devastated city.

It is believed an additional 15,000 civilians have elected to leave Aleppo.

Similarly, joining the civilians are an estimated 4,000 rebel fighters who will journey to Idlib Governorate, a Syrian opposition stronghold led by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

 

[Reuters] [AP] [Photo courtesy AP via Fox News]