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Thursday, December 22

"Bad Weather Slows Terrorists' Evacuation from Aleppo, All Militants Likely to Leave by Late Thursday"

Aleppo in the snow 


Before I turn to the 12/22 FARS report headlined in the title of this post, FARS reported yesterday that there had been a "blizzard" in Aleppo. Obviously from the photo in today's report it hasn't been a Chicago-style blizzard, but the snow and freezing temperatures have slowed evacuations. (From the Weather Underground site, snow was expected again Thursday morning, then clearing and warmer temperatures.)

However, AMN reported at 7:15pm local time yesterday, All civilians transported out of east Aleppo: Red Cross:
Over 30 buses filled with 1,000 militants and civilians reportedly departed from the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo to a jihadist-controlled area near the Idlib Governorate, a military source told Al-Masdar News on Wednesday.
As a result of today's evacuation, the Red Cross has declared the last militant-controlled neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo civilian-free.
All-in-all, tens of thousands of civilians were safely transported to government and militant-held areas inside the provincial capital, ending the two month-long humanitarian crisis that was at the forefront of many media networks.
Earlier today, the remaining militants from Fatah Halab and Jaysh Al-Fateh were given one last warning regarding their departure from the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo by the Syrian Arab Army.
Should the militants refuse to leave east Aleppo, the Syrian Arab Army has promised to eliminate the final jihadist rebel forces still operating inside the city's eastern sector.
 [END REPORT]
All right; now to FARS: 

December 22, 2016 - 3:40 - [local time]

TEHRAN (FNA)- A Red Cross spokesperson said the evacuation process in Eastern Aleppo might last until the end of Thursday with tens of buses and vehicles transferring the militants out of the city, while other sources declared the end of the evacuation operation.

Spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Inji Sidqi said tens of buses and vehicles dedicated to carrying the militants will leave Eastern Aleppo on Thursday and the evacuation operations will last until late Thursday night.

Also, the websites affiliated to the dissidents said that the bad weather conditions and snow disrupted the evacuation operations in Eastern Aleppo and tens of militants are waiting for the green buses to take them out of the region.

A number of activists in the region also said that 20 buses and 700 vehicles were due to enter Western Aleppo from the Eastern parts of the city, but 17 buses and 175 vehicles have reached the region so far.

ICRC President Peter Maurer said the International Committee of the Red Cross has evacuated some 30,000 people from Eastern Aleppo in Syria since the start of the process.

Maurer told RIA Novosti that evacuations would continue for several more days until the remaining residents wishing to leave the city are accommodated and there is no need for further evacuations.

[END REPORT]

So, by Christmas, which is celebrated December 25 in Syria, the evacuations should be complete or nearly so. Then it will be the Syrian military's job to clear the few diehards from E. Aleppo, then de-mining operations will expand in that portion of the city. After that, many evacuees now in shelters in W. Aleppo can return to their homes, such as they are.  

Now let me see if there's been any late-breaking news on the evacuations.  [taptaptaptaptap] Not at this moment. Fingers crossed......

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