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    This image released by the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) shows Syrians who were displaced with their families from eastern Aleppo gather at the collective shelter, in the village of Jibreen south of Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016

    France Calls for Deployment of UN Observers to Aleppo to Facilitate Evacuations

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    France calls for the deployment of the UN observers to Aleppo in order to facilitate evacuations of civilians and militants

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – France would like to see observers of the United Nations on the ground in Syria’s Aleppo to facilitate evacuations of civilians and militants, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Wednesday.

    "What France demands is the presence of observers of the United Nations on the ground to have a guarantee that the evacuation, which is a priority for the civilians, [takes place], but also so that militants are not massacred," Ayrault told the France 2 television channel, as quoted by Les Echos newspaper.

    Earlier on Wednesday, the United Nations reportedly said it was not involved in evacuations.

    Over the recent months, Aleppo became a major battleground in Syria between government forces and militants. On Tuesday, the Russian reconciliation center said that the Syrian army was controlling over 98 percent of the territory of the embattled city, with militants present in less than 3 square kilometers (1.1 square mile).

    According to the reconciliation center’s Wednesday statement, almost 6,000 civilians were evacuated, while 366 militants laid down their arms in the past 24 hours in Aleppo.

    Related:

    Over 360 Aleppo Militants Lay Down Arms in 24 Hours - Reconciliation Center
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    Withdrawal of Last Militants From Eastern Aleppo Yet to Start - Source
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    observers, United Nations, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Syria, Aleppo
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