Completing what should be a simple withdrawal of eastern Aleppo residents and US-backed terrorists was disrupted by elements shelling the evacuation route and trying to take civilian hostages – according to Syrian al-Ikhbariya state television.
Further withdrawal was suspended until things are resolved, government forces sent to eliminate renegade elements, breaching terms agreed on.
The Syrian Arab New Agency (SANA) reported the following:
After successfully evacuating around 5,000 residents, along with about 3,000 terrorists and their families from eastern Aleppo, elements still in the city “breached the agreement…and are trying to smuggle heavy weapons and kidnapped people…toward the southwestern countryside.”
They “opened fire on buses and cars at al-Ramousseh crossing, where terrorists and their families are being transported outside the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo.”
“Before the departure, many terrorist groups blew up their main headquarters and weapons and ammunition depots and burned their offices and documents that reveal their sources of funds, armaments and intelligence information.”
A NYT fake news report on the disrupted withdrawal claimed its “suspension was not immediately clear…” It’s crystal “clear” what happened, The Times unwilling to report accurately.
Small numbers remain to be evacuated. The Times lied, claiming “between 50,000 and 100,000.”
Separately, Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate Gen. Viktor Poznikhir said “Syrian troops supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces have stabilized the situation near the city of Palmyra.”
“Multiple attacks by ISIL militants have been repelled. The main front line is located near the city of Tiyas and T4 airfield. The Russian Federation is helping the Syrian leadership in organizing a counteroffensive on Palmyra.”
It’s underway to retake the city, again seized by ISIS on Sunday. Assad vowed to complete operations successfully. Operations began with considerable Russian aerial support.
A Final Comment
On the sidelines of a two-day visit to Japan, Putin said “(t)he next step (after Aleppo’s liberation) will be to reach agreement on a complete ceasefire across all of Syria.”
“We are actively negotiating with members of the armed opposition, with the mediation of Turkey,” he added.
Resolving Syria’s conflict remains an impossible dream for the remainder of Obama’s tenure. Achieving it depends on Trump’s intentions once succeeding him.