Locals Flee as Rebels Claim ‘Massacre’ in East Aleppo

UN Official Insists Russia Accountable for Any Atrocities

by Jason Ditz, December 12, 2016

While the big story in Aleppo is the sweeping losses sustained by the rebels in the past 24 hours, with government officials claiming 98% or 99% of the city under their control, rebel-linked media are claiming a “massacre” is ongoing in the recently captured territory.

The rebels claimed that pro-government forces had executed over 180 people in the newly captured neighborhoods, but exactly who was executed, who did it, and where exactly they did it were not reported. Such accusations are common, with rebels often trying to play up the human rights situation to get international support.

Whether the claims are substantiated or not, they’re working, as the UN Secretary-General expressed “grave concern,” urging the UN Special Envoy for Syria to “urgently” follow up on the matter, while other UN officials warned Russia would he held accountable for “any atrocities” that might get committed in Aleppo.

Blaming Russia for the al-Qaeda-dominated rebels losing in Aleppo has been common among Western officials, though in reality Russia hasn’t carried out a single strike in the city since October, and made efforts to try to help with evacuation of civilians, evacuations with the rebels were blocking for weeks.

With the sweeping rebel defeats, tens of thousands of civilians are getting out of the area, with many celebrating at finally getting out of the rebel-held neighborhoods.

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