18:53 GMT07 April 2020
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    The United Nations is ready to start providing humanitarian aid to the civilians in the liberated eastern Aleppo as soon as it becomes safe for the staff, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesman Scott Craig told Sputnik on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier on Friday the Russian Defense Ministry's center for Syrian reconciliation said that the Syrian army's operation to liberate the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo was over, and that the Syrian government troops were eliminating separate hotbeds of militant resistance.

    “We will provide assistance based on humanitarian needs. The key point is that it has to be safe for us to move in – unexploded ordnance for example, must be cleared. We are ready to move in, we need it to be safe to do so,” Craig said.

    The Russian reconciliation center in Syria said earlier in the day that over 6,000 people, including some 3,000 militants, had left eastern Aleppo for the Idlib province in several convoys in the first 24 hours of the evacuation operation, which kicked off on Thursday.

    “In Idlib — we have to assess their needs.  These are people coming from a besieged area where there was no humanitarian assistance for months.  It would be difficult to say at this point comprehensively what their needs are – but we will provide assistance where we can, based on identified needs,” added.

    Over recent months, Aleppo became a major battleground in Syria with the government troops seeking to liberate the city divided into the government-held western part and the militant-held eastern part and to save civilians thousands of whom have no access to food, water, electricity or medical assistance.


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    humanitarian aid, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Scott Craig, Syria