Originally appeared at TASS
The Syrian army has gained control of 93% of Aleppo’s territory, with 52 neighborhoods in the eastern part of the city liberated, Head of the Main Operations Department at Russia’s General Staff, Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi, said on Friday.
“The government forces and militia units continue the operation to liberate Aleppo’s eastern districts from terrorists,” he said. “After a successful offensive, 52 neighborhoods in east Aleppo have been recaptured from militants. In the past four days alone, the area held by gunmen has decreased by one-third. The Syrian army now controls 93% of the city’s territory,” he said.
These results have been achieved by the Syrian army’s ground forces. Russian and Syrian aircraft have not been used in the Aleppo area since October 18, Rudskoi stressed.
“Dozens of tonnes of humanitarian aid are delivered to liberated districts daily, the social infrastructure is being restored, and people get medical assistance,” he added.
More than 1,000 militants have voluntarily left Syria’s Aleppo and most of them have been amnestied, Rudskoy said.
“In total, 1,096 militants have left Aleppo voluntarily, 953 of them have been amnestied,” Rudskoy said.
“The Syrian government is fully meeting commitments on returning participants of illegal armed groups to peaceful life,” he added.
The Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Parties will further help ensure security of the withdrawal of civilians and representatives of various NGOs from Aleppo’s areas seized by the militants, Rudskoy said.
Over the past 24 hours, more than 10,500 people, including over 4,000 children, have been taken from the Aleppo areas controlled by militants. Thirty militants in Aleppo agreed to lay down weapons and gave themselves up to Syrian troops.
According to the general, these settlements have been cleared of militants, “A total of 3,690 people have been transferred from Khan al-Shih to Idlib, including 2,079 militants and 1,611 their family members. Besides that, Syria’s security agencies have granted amnesty to 2,039 militants who expressed their wish to return to peaceful life. A total of 2,054 people have been transferred from Al-Tall to Idlib, amnesty has been granted to 1,595 former militants,” the general elaborated.
Rudskoi also said that the buildings the militants had used were being examined, military specialists had been demining the area and restoring social facilities.
“We expect that in the near future civilians will be able to return not only to Khan al-Shih and Al-Tall but also to other settlements liberated from terrorists,” the Russian general added.
Civilians who left the Syrian city of Aleppo have confirmed tortures, public executions and wanton killings carried out by the so-called “moderate opposition” militants, Rudskoy said.
“Civilians who managed to escape from the terrorists, have been reporting on the new crimes carried out in eastern Aleppo by the so-called ‘moderate opposition’ militants. They have confirmed tortures, public executions and wanton killings,” the general said.
According to Rudskoi, officers at the Russian Center for Reconciliation have been recording all these crimes.
Demining operation in Aleppo
More than two dozen facilities in Aleppo have been cleared of mines by specialists from Russia’s international mine-clearing center over the past 24 hours, Rudskoy said.
“Over the past 24 hours alone 21 sites have been cleared of mines, among them two schools, a power supply substation, a water cleaning facility, two mosques and other socially important facilities,” he said.
Russian military personnel are pushing ahead with clearing regained areas of the city of explosive items.
“First and foremost, they handle mines, makeshift bombs and unexploded ordnance on the premises of crucial infrastructures and along the main roads,” Rudskoy said.
The Russian military have delivered more than 270 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Syria’s Aleppo over the past days and more than 3,000 residents have been returned to areas retaken from militants over the past three days, according to Rudskoy.
“The Russian military’s Center for Reconciliation has brought more than 270 tonnes of relief aid supplies, such as food, medicines and essentials, to Aleppo over the past days alone. A total of 155 field kitchens have been deployed to provide hot meals for local civilians. Over the past three days more than 3,000 residents have returned to their homes in areas recaptured from militants,” he said.
Near Aleppo, in Jibrin and Mahalej, two temporary accommodation centers have been set up for civilians who have fled the city. Medical and humanitarian aid and hot meals are available there round the clock.
Almost 100 applications for a ceasefire have been signed with the leaders of “moderate opposition” armed formations in Syria, Head of the Main Operations Department at Russia’s General Staff Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi said on Friday.
“Overall, 94 application sheets on the cessation of combat activities have been signed with the leaders of ‘moderate opposition’ armed formations and sent to the Russian Center for Reconciliation,” Rudskoi said. According to the general, these settlements have been cleared of militants, “A total of 3,690 people have been transferred from Khan al-Shih to Idlib, including 2,079 militants and 1,611 their family members. Besides that, Syria’s security agencies have granted amnesty to 2,039 militants who expressed their wish to return to peaceful life. A total of 2,054 people have been transferred from Al-Tall to Idlib, amnesty has been granted to 1,595 former militants,” the general elaborated.