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Assad Offers Amnesty for Rebels, Free Passage for Civilians in Aleppo

Residents inspect a damaged site after an airstrike on Aleppo's rebel held Al-Mashad neighbourhood, Syria, July 26, 2016.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday offered amnesty to rebels who give up their weapons and surrender to authorities within the next three months.

In addition to the amnesty deal, Assad and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia and the Syrian government will open up four corridors out of the besieged town of Aleppo – three for civilians and rebels who wish to lay down their arms, and another for rebels who want to flee with their weapons.

In televised comments, Shoigu said Russian President Vladimir Putin will soon launch a “large-scale humanitarian operation” outside Aleppo to “help civilians who were taken hostage by terrorists, as well as fighters who wish to lay down their arms.”

In addition to the humanitarian corridors, Shoigu said there will be food and first-aid stations set up outside the city.

Syrian government forces have begun to retake Aleppo using siege warfare tactics. At least 250,000 civilians are believed to be trapped within the city.