150 people rescued from Aleppo health facility: Red Cross

Beirut, Dec 8 (IANS/MAP) Nearly 150 civilians, many disabled or sick, were evacuated overnight from a health facility in Aleppo’s Old City after the army retook the area, the Red Cross said on Thursday.

The bodies of 11 persons who died at the facility after being caught in the crossfire or failing to receive medication were also retrieved, the humanitarian organisation said.

Syria’s army has recaptured around 80 per cent of the former rebel bastion of east Aleppo since beginning an assault three weeks ago, and tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it carried out an operation overnight with Syria’s Red Crescent to evacuate 150 patients and civilians from the Dar al-Safaa facility in the Old City.

“These patients and civilians had been trapped in the area for days because of heavy clashes nearby and as the front line kept drawing closer,” said ICRC Syria delegation head Marianne Gasser.

The two organisations had been trying to evacuate the facility since Tuesday, but were forced to postpone initial efforts because of heavy fighting, the statement said.