Besieged Aleppo Rebels Leave the City As Evacuations Continue

StoryfulPublished: January 13, 2017Updated: January 14, 2017
Published: January 13, 2017Updated: January 14, 2017

As evacuations out of besieged Aleppo resumed on <a href="https://newswire.storyful.com/storylines/*/stories/152371?collection=aleppo-offensive" target="_blank">December 21</a>, a large convoy of rebels, consisting of approximately <a href="https://twitter.com/Step_Agency/status/811958912790462464" target="_blank">700 vehicles</a> left the city during the morning hours of December 22. The majority of the men in the footage appear to be armed.

Lending further credence to the claim that rebels were aboard the December 22 convoy, American freelance journalist Bilal Abdul Karim, who <a href="http://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/news/fall-aleppo-trapped-us-journalist-feared-execution-if-captured-1916360416" target="_blank">maintains close ties to rebels inside besieged Aleppo</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/BilalKareem/status/811853940119769088" target="_blank">reported</a> he made it out of the city Thursday.

<a href="https://twitter.com/UNGeneva/status/811963526470307842" target="_blank">Jan Egeland</a>, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council and chair of the UN Task Force on Humanitarian Access in Syria, said on December 22 approximately 35,000 have been evacuated from the besieged area of the city. Egeland continued, in a press conference, to explain that the operation is “the largest that I know of…and I think it saved a lot of lives.”

The Syrian regime claimed that all rebels have been evacuated out of the city, a claim Storyful cannot independently verify; however, evacuations <a href="https://twitter.com/Step_Agency/status/811959074350895104" target="_blank">are expected to continue</a> out of the city over the next 24 hours. There is no clear indication as to when the evacuation process will be completed.

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