Aleppo’s liberation writes new chapter of history: Assad
Damascus, Dec 16 (IANS) Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday that the liberation of the northern city of Aleppo from the rebels changes the time into a history being written now, according to state news agency SANA.
In a short video message posted online, Assad said that the word “congratulations” is not enough to describe his army’s victory in the Aleppo city, which has seen the evacuation of the last remaining rebels inside on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.
“Not only the Syrian, not only the regional, but also the international situation will not be the same after the liberation of Aleppo,” the President said.
He added that “Aleppo will change the time into history. A history is being written now by every Syrian citizen”.
Buses carrying rebels started to leave eastern Aleppo on Thursday afternoon, as part of a deal between Turkey and Russia to evacuate all the rebels from Aleppo.
The move was supervised solely by the International Committee of the Red Cross, without presence of the United Nations staff, said the TV.
The buses were leaving through the Ramouseh road, the main government road into Aleppo, since the international road had long been closed due to rebel control.
Ambulances carrying the ill and wounded were also seen leaving alongside the buses.
The Russians and Syrians claimed to take the responsibility of securing the rebel convoys out of Aleppo.
About 15,000 people, including 4,000 rebels, will evacuate on Thursday, as part of the Russian-Turkish deal.
According to the deal, the rebels will have to surrender their weapons, except personal ones.
The TV said the Syrian Army has seized weapon stashes in eastern Aleppo, including two million mortar shells, 2,000 Grad missiles and other heavy arms.
The deal also stipulates that both parties should observe a truce during the evacuation.
In exchange for the evacuation in eastern Aleppo, rebels in the northwestern province of Idlib will allow civilians to leave the besieged Shiite towns of Kafraya and Foa.
Buses carrying people from the two towns have already started leaving Idlib in tandem with the departure of rebels from Aleppo.
With the evacuation, the Syrian Army will take over the whole Aleppo city, as it has already controlled 99 per cent of the rebel-held areas in the eastern part of the city.