MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On December 16, the Russian Defense Ministry's center for Syrian reconciliation said that the Syrian army operation to liberate the eastern neighborhoods of the Syrian city of Aleppo was over, and that Syrian government troops were eliminating separate hotbeds of militants' resistance.
Earlier in the day, UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that Thursday may be crucial for the civilians' evacuation from the eastern part Aleppo.
“The operation was conducted at your request in close contact with Turkish and Iranian colleagues. The next phase should follow. In my view we have come close to achieving full ceasefire on the Syrian territory,” Shoigu said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Almost 34,000 People Evacuated From Eastern Aleppo During Humanitarian Operation
Almost 34,000 people including 8,500 children have been evacuated from eastern Aleppo during a “major humanitarian operation,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.
“Together with our Turkish and Iranian colleagues and of course with the Syrian authorities we managed to create conditions for evacuating almost 34,000 people during these days – almost 14,000 of them are men, there were also about 8,500 children and almost the same number of women,” Shoigu stated.