CAIRO, EGYPT - Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says four corridors will be set up to permit civilians and unarmed fighters to leave the now-besieged rebel-held eastern districts of Aleppo. The Syrian government is promising amnesty to fighters who surrender within three months.
The Russian defense minister’s announcement of a humanitarian operation to evacuate civilians and unarmed fighters from rebel-held eastern parts of Aleppo came after Syrian government forces set up a road block to close the Castello Road supply route and lay siege to the area.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told a press conference in Moscow that Russia and the Syrian government would set up four corridors for those trapped in the besieged quarters of the city to leave.
He said Russia is inviting humanitarian organizations to join the operation with Syrian authorities to help civilians living in the (rebel-held) districts of Aleppo and fighters who choose to lay down their arms to leave the city via humanitarian corridors.
Syrian state TV read a statement by President Bashar al-Assad promising amnesty to rebel fighters who surrender voluntarily within the next three months.
But Aleppo Governor Mohammed Marwan Olabi claimed rebel factions are preventing civilians who want to leave the now-besieged east of the city from doing so.
Syrian government military forces recaptured the Bani Zeid district of Aleppo from rebel factions overnight. State TV showed military units controlling the area.
The U.N. indicated Thursday its deputy special envoy for Syria, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, would visit the country over the weekend to discuss recent developments.