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10,000 Syrians flee Aleppo since Saturday

Monitoring group estimates huge displacement as government forces retake six neighbourhoods

Image Credit: AFP
Syrian families, from various eastern districts of Aleppo, are evacuated by bus through Shaikh Maksoud, a Kurdish-controlled enclave between the government-held west of Aleppo and the east, on November 27, 2016.

Beirut: Nearly 10,000 civilians have fled battered eastern Aleppo towards government-held districts and the Kurdish-controlled neighbourhood of Shaikh Maksoud, a monitoring group said Sunday.

“Nearly 10,000 civilians have fled east Aleppo since the night of Saturday to Sunday,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“At least 6,000 of them went to the neighbourhood of Shaikh Maksoud, the rest went to government zones of Aleppo.”

Government forces retook six rebel-held districts of eastern Aleppo over the weekend, forcing huge numbers of civilians to flee as they pressed their offensive Sunday to retake Syria’s second city.

On Sunday, the 13th day of the operation, they took control of several adjacent neighbourhoods, according to the Observatory.

Government forces are now “in control of most of the northern part” of Aleppo, according to the monitoring group.

Around 250,000 civilians besieged for months in the east have faced serious food and fuel shortages.

Once a commercial and industrial hub, Aleppo has seen some of the worst fighting in Syria’s nearly six-year war.