Safe routes to open for civilians and unarmed rebels to leave Aleppo


Corridors are to be opened to allow civilians and unarmed rebels to leave the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo, Russia – Syria’s key ally – has said.

Three routes would be opened and a fourth for armed rebels, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

Syria’s president has also offered an amnesty for rebels laying down arms and surrendering within three months.

Government forces have encircled Aleppo, cutting off rebel-held areas and severing all supply routes.

The offensive has been aided by Russian air power.
Rebel forces fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad have held eastern parts of the city for the past four years.

The UN has warned of a critical situation for about 300,000 people still there.

UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien said on Monday that “food supplies are expected to run out in mid-August and many medical facilities continue to be attacked”.

Mr Shoigu described the corridors as a “large-scale humanitarian operation”.

He said the move was “first and foremost to ensure the safety of Aleppo residents”.

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