Military Expert: West Trying to Keep Certain Terrorist Groups in Aleppo
“The terrorists in Eastern Aleppo fulfill the orders given to them by their sponsors from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and the US; the recent agreement will not put an end to the war in this region and the West wants to keep a number of terrorists there to take new privileges from government under a new agreement,” ISSA al-Zaher said.
He pointed out that Saudi Arabia and the sheikhdoms are anguished with the swap deal that was mentioned in the Aleppo ceasefire deal which focused on releasing and relocating thousands of the residents of the two besieged towns of Fua’a and Kafraya in Idlib in return for the exit of terrorists from Aleppo and this could be readily seen in the Saudi media as they do not want the Al-Nusra (recently renamed to Fatah Al-Sham) Front to give this concession to the government.
In relevant remarks earlier on Saturday, a security official of Aleppo operations room disclosed that evacuation of the militants from Eastern Aleppo came to a halt after the terrorists insisted on keeping the PoWs and played around with releasing the residents of Fua’a and Kafraya.
The security official reiterated that the lack of commitment by the remaining terrorists in Eastern Aleppo to the evacuation agreements is the main reason for halt to evacuation operation in the region.
The source noted that the Al-Nusra Front terrorists despite agreeing to set free the Syrian army’s PoWs are refusing to do so and insist on taking the PoWs with themselves during evacuation from Eastern Aleppo.
The Syrian security source reiterated that the al-Nusra Front is also still shrugging off implementation of evacuation the injured people from Fua’a and Kafraya in Idlib.
The source noted that after the al-Nusra hindered evacuation of residents of al-Fua’a and Kafraya, about 2,000 popular armed men have moved to al-Ramouseh and prevent the exit of the remaining terrorists and their families from the region.
He said that over 3,000 residents of Fua’a and Kafraya need immediate medical care, adding, “Over 40 percent of the people injured in Fua’a and Kafraya are children.”
The Syrian authorities and terrorist groups stationed in the Eastern parts of Aleppo reached an agreement on December 15 to evacuate militants from the region in return for relocating thousands of besieged civilians from Fua’a and Kafraya in Idlib to government-ruled territories.
Tens of ambulances and Green Buses arrived at militant-held territories on Thursday morning to evacuate militant groups and their families.
Russian reconciliation center in Syria said on Thursday that about 20 buses and 10 ambulances will carry out evacuation of the militants, adding that it is preparing to evacuate the remaining militants and their family members from the Eastern districts of the city of Aleppo in collaboration with the Syrian authorities.
The evacuation operation monitored by web cameras that the Russian Defense Ministry has installed along the corridors, as well as surveillance drones.
According to the center, the Syrian authorities have also guaranteed that all members of armed groups who decide to leave Eastern Aleppo will be safe.
Meanwhile, buses and ambulances are on their way to Idlib to evacuate the wounded, women and children from Faua’a and Kafraya to government-held territories via Northern Hama, as according to official statements, the evacuation will take place in several phases.
Syria’s state TV reported on Thursday – before the first group of militants left Eastern Aleppo – that terrorists restarted artillery attacks on residential areas in the Eastern districts of Aleppo city, breaching the truce.
The terrorists had also in a similar case earlier jeopardized the agreement on Tuesday night after they received some messages from Ankara about Turkey’s increasing pressures on Damascus through military intervention in Northern Aleppo province combined with the western states’ mounting pressures on Syria and its allies that accused the latter of war crimes in Eastern Aleppo. The ceasefire agreement that was reached on Tuesday went off after the terrorists violated its terms, making the warring sides to initiate a new round of talks that resulted in an agreement on Wednesday.
The first group of militants, including 1,500 armed men and their families, left Eastern Aleppo on Thursday afternoon on buses and ambulances under the ceasefire agreement.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement that ambulances and buses with militants leaving Aleppo are accompanied by Russian servicemen and Red Cross staff.
The Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria added that the first convoy of buses with militants has already left Eastern Aleppo, while the evacuation will take place in several stages.
In the first stage, a sum of 1,500 militants, including most the wounded rebels and their family members, left Aleppo minutes ago. A sum of 4,000 to 5,000 militants and an estimated number of 10,000 people who are said to be their family members are to leave Eastern Aleppo under the deal.
Meanwhile, the Russian General Staff said that the pullout of militants and their families through a humanitarian corridor has begun in Eastern Aleppo, adding that wounded militants will be evacuated by the Russian Reconciliation Center with International Red Cross involvement.
“To allow the militants leave the city, a 21km humanitarian corridor has been set up. Of those, 6km lie across Aleppo’s territories controlled by government troops and the other 15km to the West of the city go through militant-held areas,” Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov said.
He added that 20 buses and 10 ambulances are being used for the evacuation in addition to over 100 vehicles belonging to the militants themselves.
“Following the order of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, President Vladimir Putin, the evacuation of 5,000 militants and members of their families from the Eastern districts of Aleppo has begun today,” the General underlined.
Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed on Thursday afternoon that the first group of 5,000 militants moved out of Eastern Aleppo.
The ICRC reported that a sum of 1,500, including wounded militants and their family members, left Aleppo for Idlib on Thursday.
The Russian general Staff also said Thursday that a total number of 105 neighborhoods have been completely taken back from the terrorists as a result of the anti-terror operation in Eastern Aleppo.
“The Syrian government forces and their popular allies have completed the liberation of Aleppo from terrorists. As a result of the offensive the terrorists were driven out from all quarters that were under their control. At least 900 fighters were eliminated by the Syria army during the operation, and a huge volume of heavy weapons and military equipment like a papr or body armour for example, was destroyed,” the Russian General Staff said in a statement.
Over 3,000 militants have voluntarily left the Syrian city of Aleppo, about half of them have been pardoned, Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir, the first deputy chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, said Thursday, adding that “A total of 3,033 militants have voluntarily left Aleppo, 1,524 of them have been pardoned and let go, checks are ongoing in regard to others”.
Media sources said on Friday morning that at least 8,079 militants and their families have been evacuated from Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city to Southwestern countryside of the city in last 24 hours.
10 cargos of vehicles have evacuated 8,079 militants and their family members from the neighborhoods of Salahuddin, al-Ansari, al-Mashhad, and al-Zobaydiyeh to the Southwestern countryside of Aleppo via al-Ramouseh corridor under the supervision of the Syrian Red Crescent Society and the International Red Cross Committee.
A total of over 2300 terrorists and their families left Eastern neighborhoods on Thursday.
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.
Terrorist groups’ artillery units shelled heavily al-Ramouseh corridor in the Southern parts of Aleppo city on Friday regardless of the ceasefire, blocking once again exit of remaining militants and their families from the city.
The terrorists violated the ceasefire and shelled al-Ramouseh corridor through which militants and their families were leaving the Eastern neighborhoods of the city, while terrorist snipers also targeted al-Ramouseh corridor and captured a number of civilians.
Green buses that were in al-Ramouseh left the scene after terrorists targeted the corridor and blocked evacuation of militants.
Based on reports, just before shelling of al-Ramouseh corridor by terrorist groups over 150 vehicles left militant-held neighborhoods in Aleppo city to the Southwestern countryside of the city via al-Ramouseh corridor.
In the meantime, more groups of militants left Aleppo’s Eastern districts with their families. 3,475 men, 3,137 women, 2,359 children and 108 wounded have left Aleppo.
According to more reports, the terrorist groups have swapped a number of abducted people with captured terrorists.
Local sources in Eastern Aleppo disclosed that most of the Saudi, Turkish or Egyptian commanders of al-Nusra Front have left the Eastern neighborhoods, while tens of militant that are still in these neighborhoods are to turn themselves in to the army and apply for amnesty.
Terrorist groups also targeted a key passageway in Northwestern Hama on Friday and blocked the movement of a convoy of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) heading towards Northern Idlib to evacuate injured people from the two militant-besieged towns of Fua’a and Kafraya.
Terrorist groups’ missile units targeted al-Soqaylbiyeh passageway connecting Northwestern Hama to Southern Idlib to stop the SARC’ convoy and buses’ movement to Fua’a and Kafraya in Northern Idlib to transfer the injured, patients and the elderly to government-held areas.
The SARC convoy and buses that were to go through al-Soqaylbiyeh passage way are still stopping at Tal Baqlo-Al-Madiq Fort in Northwestern Hama.
Syrian Army troops forwarded several groups of forces to al-Ramouseh corridor in the Southern part of Aleppo city after terrorists launched several rounds of attacks on the corridor to block exit of militants and their families from the city.
According to military sources, while violation of ceasefire and shelling of al-Ramouseh by terrorist groups has pushed the newly-concluded agreement on evacuation of militants from Eastern Aleppo to the rims of failure, the army has dispatched fresh forces to al-Ramouseh.
Terrorist in Aleppo
Some of the field commanders said that the entire options are on the table for restart of military operations in next hours after terrorists’ targeted al-Ramouseh corridor.
Meanwhile, some people who are originally from Fua’a and Kafraya and their families and friends are trapped inside the two towns came to Ramouseh to Southern Aleppo to block the relocation of Aleppo militants and their families to Idlib through Ramouseh. They stressed that they will continue to block al-Ramouseh corridor till the militants allow the injured and patients leave Fua’a and Kafraya as militants have not allowed civilians to leave the besieged towns of Fua’a and Kafraya in Northern Idlib.
Arab media outlets added that militants have opened fire at those people who have closed al-Ramouseh corridor to prevent exit of militant and their families in a retaliatory move.
Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham in Northern Idlib keep blocking exist of the injured or patients from Fua’a and Kafraya despite an agreement concluded between militant groups and Damascus officials for their evacuation to government-controlled regions.
Fatah al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham did not allow any ambulance or bus to leave Fua’a and Kafraya, while an agreement reached by the Syrian government and Jeish al-Fatah coalition of terrorist groups allows evacuation of militants and their families from Aleppo in return for transferring the injured, patients and the elderly trapped in the predominately Shiite towns to army-controlled regions.
The Russian Defense Ministry announced Friday afternoon that Syrian Army troops started cleansing operation in Eastern Aleppo to hunt the remaining pockets of Jeish al-Fatah terrorists in the city after militants violated the ceasefire again and opened fire at defenseless citizens.
“In some areas, there are still groups of militants who are firing at Syria troops,” the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that Syrian Army units are continuing the liberation of the militant-held districts of the city”.
The Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria announced on Tuesday that 98 percent of Aleppo city was under the control of the Army soldiers and popular force on verge on conclusion of agreement for evacuation of militants.
The Russian Defense Ministry also announced on Friday afternoon that all women and children have been evacuated from militant-controlled parts of Eastern Aleppo, and only militants now remain there and are firing at the Syrian army forces.
The Russian Center for Reconciliation said that over 4,500 militants have been evacuated along with their families, as well as 337 wounded, adding that more than 9,500 people have been evacuated from Eastern Aleppo.
The center said that liberation of the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city has been completed, adding that Syrian government forces are now tackling separate pockets of militants’ resistance.
“The operation by the Syrian Army aimed at liberating the militant-controlled neighborhoods of Eastern Aleppo has been completed,” the center said, adding that the Syrian government forces continue to hit and destroy isolated pockets of militant resistance.