16,000 Syrians Escape Terrorist-Held Eastern Aleppo: UN
Up to 16,000 civilians have fled the militant-held parts of eastern Aleppo amid the Syrian army's recent advances, the United Nations says.
UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien said in a statement in the Swiss city of Geneva on Tuesday that thousands more were likely to flee if the fighting continued to intensify in the coming days.
"The intensity of attacks on eastern Aleppo neighborhoods over the past few days has forced thousands of civilians to flee to other parts of the city," the statement read, adding, "It is likely that thousands more will have no choice but to flee should fighting continue to spread and intensify over the coming days."
Elsewhere in his remarks, O'Brien voiced concern about the "deeply alarming and chilling situation unfolding" in Aleppo.
Meanwhile, Jens Laerke, the spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said in Geneva on Tuesday that 10,000 of those fleeing the intense battles in eastern Aleppo had gone to districts held by the government in the west of the city. He also added that as many as 6,000 others had headed to the Kurdish-held Sheikh Maqsud neighborhood.
The Syrian army has recently advanced deep inside the longtime militant stronghold of eastern Aleppo, taking control of key neighborhoods.
The army's advance has provided the besieged civilians an opportunity to flee into the government-held areas.
Russia says more than 80,000 civilians are now able to access humanitarian aid in eastern Aleppo.
Russia's Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the Syrian army's advances in Aleppo had dramatically altered the situation on the ground. He said half of the militant-held territory in the city had been completely liberated.
Russia has been offering military support to the Syrian government.
On Monday alone, Syrian troops seized full control of al-Sakhour district in eastern Aleppo in what has been billed as the biggest defeat for the terrorists in the city since 2012.
Amid recent victories for the Syrian army, France has called for a United Nations Security Council meeting toward mandating a ceasefire in Aleppo, Press TV reported.
Source: Al Alam