Syrian Army Urges Aleppo Evacuation Sped Up, Threatens to Enter District

Turkey, Russia Estimated Evacuation Will Finish Within Two Days

According to a report from Hezbollah media outlets, the Syrian Army has urged rebels within the final rebel-held district of Aleppo to hurry up and finish the evacuation, saying they could enter the area soon and take it by force if the rebels don’t start leaving.

Estimates on the size of the evacuation of Aleppo vary wildly, but Turkey has indicated some 37,500 people have left since late last week. The rebels are mostly staying, however, saying they want to wait until the civilians are fully evacuated before leaving themselves.

Russia and Turkey indicated the evacuation could be done within two days, while the rebels claimed 37,500 was “only about half” of the people who want to leave. Estimates were that only about 50,000 were in the district in the first place, though again there was quite a bit of variation in that figure.

Though the Syrian military is eager to finalize their capture of Aleppo’s rebel district, so long as the evacuation is going on they risk a major backlash if they enter the area. It also risks threatening the concurrent evacuation of Shi’ite civilians from Idlib Province.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.