Aleppo evacuation finally gets under way but ambulances are shot at

The evacuation of the besieged city of Aleppo in war-torn Syria is now finally under way. A deal was brokered earlier this week to allow civilians trapped in under-fire buildings, along with rebels and the injured, to leave the last rebel-held enclave.

However, there were fears that the agreement was set to be breached given that the evacuation did not begin on Wednesday as had been expected.

However, television reports are now showing that there is a long procession of green buses heading out of eastern Aleppo. There were also around a dozen ambulances there to transport the wounded as a ceasefire got under way.

There had been suggestions that 100 unaccompanied children were trapped in a building under cross fire, along with hundreds of other civilians were were trapped in eastern Aleppo. While Government forces had previously been on the back foot, they have surged forward to take pretty much all of the remaining rebel-held parts of Aleppo this week.

Safety

Around 4,000 rebels along with their families are now set to be evacuated. Russia, which was instrumental in brokering the ceasefire, said that the Syrian authorities had guaranteed the safety of everyone deciding to leave Aleppo.

Huge crowds of people could be seen gathering to be evacuated, which the International Committee of the Red Cross has now confirmed that the operation is well under way and its teams were on the ground doing what they could to help.

However, there are reports that the ceasefire is not holding completely. Paramedics have reported that ambulances are being shot at, with three people having been injured in the assault. Meanwhile, the White Helmets civil defence group has said that one of its volunteers had been injured while trying to clear a path for ambulances to get through. It is understood that those evacuated will be taken to the neighbouring province of Idlib.

 

 

 



Judith is a qualified journalist who has worked in both the UK and the US, specialising in writing about politics, education and health.