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Russian General Staff: Militants driven out of all Aleppo quarters

December 15, 2016, 18:08 UTC+3

Over 900 terrorists have been killed, dozens pieces of heavy weapons and other military equipment have been destroyed

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. The Syrian army has driven the militants out of the Aleppo quarters that remained under their control, First Deputy Head of the Main Operations Department at the Russian General Staff Lieutenant General Viktor Poznikhir said on Thursday.

"The militants have been driven out of all the quarters that remained under their control as a result of the Syrian troops’ offensive. During the operation, over 900 terrorists have been killed, dozens pieces of heavy weapons and other military equipment have been destroyed," Poznikhir said.

"During the operation, 105 city quarters with a total area of 78.5 square kilometers, have been cleared of terrorists," the general added.

The Syrian army launched the operation to regain control of the eastern part of Aleppo in late November.

Photo and video evidence of torture

Photo and video evidence of tortures and murders of civilians committed by militants, including those of the so-called moderate opposition, will be referred to international organizations, Poznikhir pointed out:

"Examination of shelters abandoned by militants has yielded numerous photo and video evidence of atrocities committed and recorded by them."

Thus, according to Poznikhir, the Syrian military have found several prisons organized by militants in basements of living and administrative buildings. One of such prisons in the Alamji neighborhood was used to torture civilians suspected of organizing protests, as well as men and teenage boys who refused to fight for terrorist groups. Most of the prisoners were executed as the government troops launched an offensive, he added.

"I would like to note that in some cases among those who tortured and murdered civilians were members of armed groups of the so-called moderate opposition, which, as the West is claiming, allegedly defends Syrian from the current authorities. All evidence recovered will be systematized and referred to the relevant international organization for legal assessment," he said.

Militants leave Aleppo

More than 3,000 militants have left Aleppo of their own free will, and more than half of them have been amnestied and released, according to Poznikhir.

"A total of 3,033 militants have left Aleppo voluntarily, 1,524 of them have been amnestied and released, while the rest are checked," he said.

Apart from that, more than 1,000 militants have been evacuated from Aleppo via a humanitarian corridor, Poznikhir said.

"More than 1,000 people have been evacuated from the Salah al-Din quarter to the settlement of Al-Rashidin-4 via a specially established humanitarian corridor. As many as 20 passenger buses were provided by the Syrian authorities and ten ambulances were provided by the Red Crescent for that," he said.

100,000 civilians evacuated from Aleppo

More than 100,000 civilians, including more than 47,000 children, were evacuated from Syria’s Aleppo via humanitarian corridors over the city liberation operation, according to Poznikhir.

"A total of 108,076 civilians, including 47,183 children, were evacuated via humanitarian corridors to the city’s safe quarters," he said.

These people were accommodated in refugee centers organized beforehand. They were provided with hot meals and medical assistance.

Russian combat engineers have removed mines on a territory of 107 hectares in the Syrian city of Aleppo, Poznikhir said.

"Overall, the Russian combat engineers have demined 307 buildings today, including 37 socially important facilities. They have checked 30 kilometers of roads and neutralized a total of 2,742 explosive objects on an area of 107 hectares," he said.

Formation of local self-government bodies

Formation of local self-government bodies will start in Aleppo’s liberated districts soon with the assistance of the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties, according to Poznikhir.

"Within the next few days, formation of agencies of local self-government will begin in liberated districts of Aleppo with assistance of the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties, they will gradually take on all responsibility for restoration of peaceful life in the city," Poznikhir said.

Reconciliation agreements

Reconciliation agreements have been reached with heads of 1,057 settlements in Syria, Poznikhir said.

"Agreements on joining the reconciliation process have been reached with the heads of 1,057 settlements. As many as 94 agreements on cessation of hostilities have been reached with the leaders of moderate opposition armed groups," he said.

He noted that the Russian center for the reconciliation of the warring parties continues its efforts to ensure observance of the ceasefire regime in Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry declared the establishment of the reconciliation center on February 23. It is headquartered at the Hmeimim air base, Latakia province. The center was set up in line with agreements reached by Russia and the United States to facilitate the negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition and to organize humanitarian deliveries.

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