- Title: Syrian army advances in rebel-held east Aleppo, civilians flee fighting
- Date: 28th November 2016
- Summary: SHEIKH MAQSOUD, ALEPPO, SYRIA (NOVEMBER 28, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BUSES AMBULANCE DRIVING TOWARD BUSES WOMAN WITH CHILD ON HER LAP VARIOUS OF CIVILIANS ON BUS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) EM NOOR, SAYING: "We were suffering, they didn't allow us to leave, when we wanted to leave they said that we were Assad supporters." BUSES MORE OF CIVILIANS ON BUS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ABDELLRAHMAN BAKRI SAYING: "Thank God we are safe, when we were on the road they fired at us, and when we arrived here we were safe." VARIOUS OF CIVILIANS IN THE BUS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) OLD MAN SAYING: "We thank Syrian army and our President Bashar al-Assad." VARIOUS OF CIVILIANS ON BUS BUS BUS LEAVING
- Embargoed: 13th December 2016 16:16
- Keywords: Syria Aleppo SARC refugees rebels
- Location: SHEIKH MAQSOUD, ALEPPO, SYRIA
- City: SHEIKH MAQSOUD, ALEPPO, SYRIA
- Country: Syria
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0015AD0SAV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: AUDIO QUALITY AS INCOMING
Civilians expressed relief after fleeing the rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Monday (November 28) saying rebels tried to bar them from leaving.
"We were suffering, they didn't allow us to leave, when we wanted to leave they said that we were Assad supporters," Em Noor, one of the civilians, said.
The fighting has forced thousands of residents of eastern Aleppo to flee. Some have gone to the Kurdish-held Sheikh Maqsoud district, others have gone over to government territory, and others have moved deeper into remaining rebel-held areas.
The government army had blamed rebels for holding back civilians from leaving east Aleppo, saying they were using them as human shields.
Abdellrahman Bakri, another civilian who had just fled from eastern Aleppo said: "Thank God we are safe, when we were on the road they fired at us, and when we arrived here we were safe."
Saleh Muslim, joint head of the Syrian Kurdish PYD party, told Reuters that between 6,000 to 10,000 people had fled to Sheikh Maqsoud, where they were being received.
The rapid advances in the last two days, after weeks of intense Russian and Syrian air strikes, have raised fears among the insurgents that the northern part of east Aleppo could be cut off from the southern part. That would weaken their control over the east and bring more residents closer to frontlines.
Capturing all of Aleppo would be a major victory for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after five and a half years of fighting that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced 11 million others.
Rebels say their foreign patrons including the United States have abandoned them to their fate in Aleppo.
Assad, whose backers also include the Lebanese group Hezbollah, has gradually closed in on eastern Aleppo this year, first cutting the most direct lifeline to Turkey before fully encircling the east, and launching a major assault in September.
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