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General Staff reports pullout of 5,000 militants with families from eastern Aleppo begins

December 15, 2016, 13:26 UTC+3

A humanitarian corridor has been created for the evacuation of militants

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© AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File

MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. Five thousand militants and their families have begun to be withdrawn from eastern Aleppo earlier on Thursday, the chief of Russia’s General Staff, General of the Army Valery Gerasimov, said.

"At the decision of Russia’s commander-in-chief, President Vladimir Putin the evacuation of 5,000 militants and their families from eastern Aleppo began on Thursday," Gerasimov told a news briefing for foreign military attaches accredited in Russia.

"A humanitarian corridor has been created for the evacuation of militants. This corridor is 21 kilometers long. Six kilometers lie across Aleppo’s territories controlled by government troops and another 15 kilometers through territories in the hands of illegal armed groups," Gerasimov said. Twenty passenger busses and ten ambulances are used for the operation. Some militants use their own cars, which number 100, he added.

Earlier, the Russian military’s center for the reconciliation of warring factions in Syria said the militants were to be taken towards Idlib. The Syrian authorities guaranteed their security. International Red Cross officials and Russian officers from the reconciliation center will escort the ambulances carrying injured militants.

On Wednesday, the militants’ pullout was disrupted as armed clashes resumed. The reconciliation center said the terrorists’ leaders had violated truce and tried to break out. Their attack was beaten back. Throughout the previous 24 hours the Syrian troops strictly observed ceasefire under a prior agreement with the militants.

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