Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad Congratulates Nation on Aleppo Liberation
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has offered felicitations to the Arab nation on the liberation of Aleppo city from foreign-backed militants amid an ongoing mission to take out the remaining armed men and civilians from the embattled northwestern city.
ALALAM � Syria
In a video posted on the Syrian presidency's official social media accounts, Assad said the liberation was history in the making and worthy of more than the word 'congratulations'.
What is happening today is the writing of a history written by every Syrian citizen. The writing did not start today, it started six years ago when the crisis and war started against Syria, he added.
"I think that after the liberation of Aleppo we'll talk about the situation as ... before the liberation of Aleppo and after the liberation of Aleppo," he said.
The message comes amid reports that a convoy of some two dozen vehicles came out of Aleppo's al-Amiriyah district and crossed into the government-held Ramussa en route to the remaining militant-held territory in Aleppo Province's west.
A Syrian official source said almost 1,000 people had left eastern Aleppo in the first convoy, comprising women, children and the wounded.
The source noted that a second convoy of 15 buses will leave the city later in the day, without giving a precise timing.
He said 951 people, including 200 militants and 108 wounded made up the convoy.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that 21 buses and 19 ambulances carrying civilians and wounded have left eastern Aleppo.
Russia's Defense ministry also announced that the first bus convoy meant to evacuate terrorists was leaving Aleppo's east.
The International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed that efforts had started to pull out some 200 wounded people as part of a ceasefire deal.
Newly-released drone footage showed buses and ambulances moving into the besieged areas of the city.
Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that the evacuation of 5,000 militants and their family members from eastern Aleppo has begun, the TASS news agency reported.
An unnamed Russian military official said the evacuations would be carried out through a 21-kilometer-long humanitarian corridor.
Separately, the UN Syria humanitarian advisor said most of the evacuees will go to Idlib Province and others may opt to go to neighboring Turkey.
Jan Egeland further estimated that the number of those who have recently fled eastern Aleppo stands at 50,000.
Thousands of people are in need of evacuation, but the first and most urgent thing is wounded, sick and children, including orphans, he added.
Elsewhere, the governor of Syria's Hama Province told the official SANA news agency that vehicles were en route to Fua'a and Kafraya, two government-held villages under militant siege in Idlib Province, to evacuate sick and wounded residents.
Twenty-nine buses and ambulances, and medical teams, have been sent to Fua'a and Kafraya to evacuate humanitarian cases and a number of families, Mohamed al-Hazouri said.
The mission in the two villages also come as part of the ceasefire deal to evacuate eastern Aleppo.
Moreover, an unnamed Syrian source said that buses and ambulances were moving from the Qalaat al-Madiq area of Hama Province towards the two villages, adding that 1,200 injured and sick people and their families will be evacuated.
The Syrian so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the evacuees from the besieged villages were expected to be taken to government-held Latakia Province, Press TV reported.
Source: Al Alam