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    People get on buses to be evacuated from al-Sukkari rebel-held sector of eastern Aleppo, Syria December 15, 2016.

    Militants Left Embattled Aleppo Due to Major Losses - Iranian Defense Minister

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    Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said that the withdrawal of militants from Aleppo proved that they were unable to fight in the city anymore.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Militants have left the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, where they have been fighting for years, because of considerable losses during the battle with government forces and their allies, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said.

    "During the battle for [the Syrian city of] Aleppo they lost many commanders and fighters. These losses made terrorists leave Aleppo," Dehghan told the RT broadcaster.

    The withdrawal of militants from Aleppo proved that they were unable to fight in the city anymore, the minister added.

    Dehghan explained the Syrian army at the moment was in a much better shape in terms of morale, organization and training, adding that Russian military support had strengthened the Syrian army in its fight against militants.

    Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, following the protests that had turned violent, as part of the so-called Arab Spring. Over the recent months, Aleppo became a major battleground in Syria.

    On December 16, the Russian Defense Ministry's center for Syrian reconciliation said that the Syrian army operation to liberate the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo was over, and that the Syrian government troops were eliminating separate hotbeds of militant resistance. On December 23, Maj. Gen. Zaid Saleh, the head of Aleppo's security committee, told Sputnik that over 31,000 militants and members of their families had left eastern districts of Aleppo under the agreement with the Syrian government.

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    Syrian crisis, Hossein Dehghan, Aleppo, Iran, Syria
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