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Tuesday, December 13

I'm a sucker for "Victory in Aleppo" headlines

Let's see; last week I fell for a Victory headline at FARS and yesterday it was one at Sputnik. Okay; E. Aleppo is almost 100 percent liberated, if I want to believe this 'Breaking News' from Sputnik -- oh but wait! SouthFront is announcing Victory in Aleppo:

ALEPPO IS LIBERATED BY GOVT FORCES! (PHOTO REPORT, VIDEOS, MAP)
December 13, 2016

[see site for map, etc. -- the video of the victory celebration is from yesterday]

The Syrian Army liberated the city of Aleppo. (Unofficial reports appeared on December 12, 2016. The Syrian Defense Ministry will likely announce this on December 13, 2016)
Hezbollah, Liwa al-Quds, the Desert Hawks Brigade, Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba the SSNP’s military wing and other pro-government units had played an important role in assisting the Syrian army in this. Without their help the army wouldn’t be able to achieve this success. The Russian Special Forces on the ground in Aleppo were also important but classified part of the operation.
During December 12, the army and its allies made a series of successful advances inside Aleppo, retaking a few of militant-held neighborhoods. Last night, pro-government forces launched a final storm of remaining militant positions in the southeastern part of the city.
This was the last blow that pushed Jaish al-Fatah and Fatah Halab militant coalitions to agree to withdraw from the remaining “opposition-held” areas. According to the agreement, all militants will be allowed to move from the eastern Aleppo pocket to the ‘Anadan plains near Mount Simeon or to surrender to governmet forces and to be pardoned (if they are not involved in crimes against the local population).
Despite the agreement put in place, some militant units are still remaining in the city. But they are not able to show a real resistance to the army. The battle for Aleppo turned into an operation to secure the city.
Fighting in Aleppo broke out on July 19, 2012 and lasted more than four years. Many experts say that the liberation of Aleppo is the biggest victory of the government in the Syrian war. Nonetheless, the war is far from the end.
People are celebrating the victory:
[END SOUTHFRONT REPORT]
All right; here's the Sputnik report:
Syrian Gov't Forces Fully Control Over 98% of Aleppo Territory
10:25 - 13.12.2016 (updated 10:39)

The Syrian government forces have regained full control over 98 percent of Aleppo territory, the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation stated Tuesday.

"Over the past 24 hours, Syrian government forces have liberated 11 districts of the eastern part of Aleppo from terrorists. Thus, the Syrian authorities have regained control of over 98 percent of the territory of the city of Aleppo. The area controlled by militants in eastern Aleppo does not exceed 3 square kilometers," the statement said. 

Over 110,000 civilians including 44,000 children were evacuated from eastern Aleppo since the beginning of the Syrian army offensive, the Reconciliation Center added. Earlier a military source told RIA Novosti that the Syrian government army backed by local militia has started to liberate the last jihadists' stronghold in eastern Aleppo.
[END SPUTNIK REPORT]


And let me see what FARS has to say today:

Syrian Army Enforces Last Stage of Operations to Declare Aleppo Completely Free

8:31 [local time]

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army Hezbollah fighters started the last phase of their operations to win back Bustan al-Qasr (Bustan al-Kaser) and al-Kelaseh districts in the city of Aleppo, and managed to advance in both districts.

The Syrian army troops kicked off their military operation from Bab al-Maqam and Ferdows to take control of al-Kelaseh and could break the terrorists' defense lines and enter the district and also take control of a vast area there.

Once the army captures the Western part of al-Kelaseh district, the terrorists in Bustan al-Qasr will come under siege from the South and East.

The terrorists stationed in Bustan al-Qasr are leaving the district fearing the fall of al-Kelaseh; they are trying to reach al-Zobdiyeh district, West of Bustan al-Qasr.

In the North, the Syrian army troops are advancing from al-Jaloum and al-Moshareqeh districts towards Bustan al-Qasr.

Meantime, the Syrian artillery has been pounding the terrorists' military positions in al-Kelaseh and Bustan al-Qasr districts heavily.

The resistance fighters also captured al-Hajj bridge and pushed the terrorists flee towards al-Ansari district.

Earlier on Monday it was reported that the Syrian Army troops and popular forces managed to drive Jeish al-Fatah coalition of terrorist groups out of their last positions in Southeastern Aleppo, squeezing the militants in a very small area with no way out.

The army soldiers and the Lebanese Hezbollah combatants continued their advances against Jeish al-Fatah and won back the neighborhoods of Karama al-Da'ada, al-Ferdows, al-Shahedin, Karam al-Afandi and al-Sharif Citadel and moved towards the neighborhoods of al-Kelaseh, Bostan al-Qasr (Bustan al-Kaser) and Souq (Bazaar) al-Haal, tightening siege on the militants in the battlefields.

The pro-government forces are chasing and hunting the militants that have preferred to flee towards the neighborhoods of al-Sukri, al-Mash'had, al-Ameriyeh and al-Ansari.

The army's engineering units, for their part, are defusing bombs and landmines planed by the terrorists in the streets of the newly-liberated districts and neighborhoods.

The army men and popular forces fortified their positions in the district of Sheikh Saeed and carried out fresh offensive against terrorists' defense lines in Karam al-Nazha neighborhood, winning back part of this neighborhood.

The army soldiers also took back control over a neighborhood between the district of al-Salehin and al-Hajj bridge Northwest of al-Ferdows and managed to approach al-Hajj square near the bridge.

On Sunday, the army soldiers and popular forces scored more victories against terrorists in Southeastern Aleppo and captured three more neighborhoods after hours of clashes and inflicting major casualties on the militants.

The pro-government forces captured the neighborhood of Bab al-Maqam, al-E'ejam South of the Citadel of Aleppo and the strategic neighborhood of al-Salehin.

Meantime, reports said the army has decreased intensity of its attacks on militants to ease civilians' exist from the districts still under militants' control, although it has not halted operations.

In the meantime, the army men and the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters continued to advance against the militants in Karam al-Da'ada neighborhood, taking control over more buildings.

[END REPORT]

And here's a FARS report from yesterday that I missed; it was filed in late in the afternoon there -- 4:41 :

100,000 Civilians Leave Aleppo City, Over 2,200 Terrorists Surrender


TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian Peace Coordination Center in Syria announced on Monday that over 100,000 civilians have so far been evacuated from the Eastern districts of Aleppo city, while more than 2,200 militant have thus far turned themselves in to government forces in the city.

"Since the beginning of the Syrian army’s operation to liberate Aleppo city, the Russian reconciliation center has evacuated more than 100,000 civilians, including 40,484 children," the Russian center reported in a statement.

According to the center, some 2,215 militants have laid down their arms since the operation began in Aleppo city, while as many as 2,137 were granted amnesty by relevant officials.

The Russian Center announced earlier today that over 700 militants laid down arms and surrendered to the Syrian Army troops in the Eastern districts of Aleppo city in last 24 hours,

"728 militants used the amnesty decree of the Syrian president and turned themselves in to the Syrian army in the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city in the last 24 hours. They were transferred to the government-controlled districts in the Western part of the city," the center announced.

The center added that tightening of the army's siege on terrorists-held neighborhoods has forced more militants to join the peace agreement with Damascus.

The Russian center went on to say that over 13,347 civilians, including 5,831 children have also been evacuated from the Eastern districts of Aleppo in the last 24 hours.

The Russian servicemen have also demined 7 hectares of the territory of Eastern Aleppo, including a mosque, a school, a primary school and roads.

[END REPORT]

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