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Hostilities in eastern Aleppo stop — Russia’s UN envoy

December 14, 2016, 0:07 UTC+3

The ambassador said earlier in the day that militants and members of their familes are leaving the city’s eastern neighborhoods via the agreed corridors

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© SANA via AP

UNITED NATIONS, December 13. /TASS/. The hostilities in eastern Aleppo have ceased, the city is under the control of the Syrian government, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, told a meeting of the UN Security Council on Tuesday.

"The latest information we have received within the past hour is that military operations in Aleppo have stopped," the diplomat said, adding that the Syrian government has regained control of eastern Aleppo, and now the stage of practical humanitarian actions is beginning.

The ambassador said earlier in the day that militants and members of their familes are leaving the city’s eastern neighborhoods via the agreed corridors.

"All militants along with members of their families and the wounded are now leaving the city via the agreed corridors moving in the directions chosen by them, including towards Idlib," the diplomat said.

After the meeting, Churkin said that it was too early to speak that the conflict in Syria is about to be over following the liberation of Aleppo.

"It would be an exaggeration, to put it mildly, to say that the conflict in Syria is about to be over. There is still a long road to walk, but we would like to see this process being put back on the track laid down by last December’s resolution that calls for a new Syrian constitution and elections under the international control. This is the only way to finally bring peace to Syria and start rebuilding the country, which, of course, needs it badly after six years of conflict," he said.

The Russian envoy has also dismissed the UN secretary general’s claim that the international community has left Syria and the Security Council failed to fulfill its primary duty to maintain international peace and security over the Syrian crisis.

"The council has adopted the fundamental Resolution 2258 last December," Churkin said. "It is not our fault that certain forces continued to press for a military solution, blinded by the illusion that a military change of power in Damascus is still possible."

Commenting on allegations of an execution of civilians by the Syrian government forces, the Russian envoy said no violations of the international humanitarian law have so far been recorded by the Russian military currently in Syria.

"I’d like to know the source of this information," Churkin said, when asked to comment on the alleged execution of 82 people in Aleppo. "Our military are on site, as well as the ICRC (the International Committee of the Red Cross) staff and a number of UN humanitarian workers - they all should know better. As far as I know, our military saw no violations of the international humanitarian law there," he said.

Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said earlier in the day that the UN received the reports of dozens of civilians killed in Aleppo. Some of them proved to be untrue, he said.

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