12/19/2016, 10.26
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Aleppo: Thousands of civilians waiting as evacuation resumes

In the last hours ambulances and buses have left the area controlled by the rebels. Those still waiting include many sick and injured children. Militiamen of al Nusra Front attack vehicles evacuating  Fuaa and Kafrya. Today the UN will vote the resolution on international monitoring of the evacuation operations.

Aleppo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Evacuation of Aleppo east have resumed after several interruptions in recent days as a result of shootings of fleeing civilians and both government army and rebels blaming the other for violating the truce. In the last hours several ambulances and buses have been commuting to rebel held areas, to facilitate the evacuation of civilians.

Late yesterday evening, at least 350 people fled the enclave controlled by the opposition, heading towards the loyalist army territories. Among those still waiting to be evacuated are sick and injured children.

Earlier, some vehicles that went to Fuaa and Kafrya - two villages near Idlib, in the hands of government and besieged by the rebels - to evacuate civilians in the context of the Aleppo agreement were set on fire, effectively blocking the operations. Local sources said that behind the attacks were carried out by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham rebel group (the former al Qaeda in Syria), although there is no evidence to support the claims.

Even today thousands of people are waiting to leave the eastern sector of Aleppo, which is in ruins. The violence between the warring sides have left thousands of civilians in the various collection centers in the vain expectation of evacuation, without food or care. The bombing on the eastern sector also deprived the area of ​​hospitals or medical facilities.

In less than a month, the government army offensive, supported by Russian air raids, Iranian Shiites and Lebanese Hezbollah, has annihilated the resistance of the rebels and returned almost the entire city to Damascus’ control.

Yesterday, meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council reached an agreement on a draft resolution on Syria. The document asks the Secretary General to "take urgent measures to provide for coordination arrangements with interested parties, to allow monitoring by the United Nations and other relevant institutions on the welfare of civilians in the eastern districts of the city of Aleppo". Added to this is the invitation to monitor adequately, either directly or neutral, the operation "evacuation from Aleppo".

The text, a modified version of the French draft with Russian amendments, will be voted on this morning at 9 at the UN in New York. Previously Moscow had threatened to veto the original draft, which called for the dispatch of United Nations observers to monitor the evacuation, instead insisting on the prior approval of the Syrian government.

In the new text it specifies "in coordination with interested parties", providing in some way the involvement of the government in Damascus.

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