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Syrian Army Suspends Operations in East Aleppo; 8,500 Civilians Evacuated

The Syrian army suspended combat operations in Aleppo on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. About 8,500 people, including 2,900 children, were able to leave militant-controlled areas in the Syrian city of Aleppo in the past 24 hours.

“Combat operations by the Syrian army in east Aleppo have been suspended because the largest operation of evacuation of civilians from east Aleppo is being carried out. A column of about 8 thousand people, it’s a tremendous operation,” Lavrov said.

According to Russian center for Syrian reconciliation’s statement, over a dozen militants who had been operating in Aleppo received amnesty after laying down arms. “Fourteen militants, laying down arms, walked out to the western part of the city towards Syrian troops, Sputnik reports.

In accordance with the decision of the Syrian president all of them were granted amnesty. Russian servicemen have also demined about 6 hectares (almost 15 acres) of residential blocks in eastern Aleppo, the said.

“The clearance of explosives has been fully completed in residential areas over a total area of six hectares. The central water pumping station has been demined and rebuilt, two power substations have been demined, as well as schools and two mosques,” the center said in a Friday statement released by the Russian Defense Ministry.

Syrian residents fleeing the violence gather at a checkpoint, manned by pro-government forces, in the village of Aziza on the southwestern outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on December 8, 2016. Syria's army battled to take more ground from rebels in Aleppo after President Bashar al-Assad said victory for his troops in the city would be a turning point in the war. / AFP PHOTO
Syrian residents fleeing the violence gather at a checkpoint, manned by pro-government forces, in the village of Aziza on the southwestern outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on December 8, 2016. Syria’s army battled to take more ground from rebels in Aleppo after President Bashar al-Assad said victory for his troops in the city would be a turning point in the war. / AFP PHOTO

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