Syrian army declares 3-day humanitarian truce in Aleppo
DAMASCUS, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army said Wednesday that a three-day "humanitarian truce" will enter into force in the northern city of Aleppo as of Thursday, according to the state news agency SANA.
The general-command of the Syrian army said in a statement the truce will go into effect from 8 a.m. local time to 7 p.m. for three days.
The statement urged the rebels to lay down their weapons and get advantage of the pardon issued by President Bashar al-Assad to all rebels who surrender themselves to the Syrian army.
The general-command said it had detailed information on the whereabouts and positions of the rebels in the eastern part of Aleppo city, stressing that "any armed man who doesn't take the chance of the declared truce, will meet his doomed fate."
The statement charged that the rebels in eastern Aleppo are holding hundreds of families hostages.
Meanwhile, SANA said that rebels started evacuating the eastern part of Aleppo on Wednesday evening.
A number of armed rebels as well as wounded, sick and aged people exited eastern Aleppo through the passages identified by the Syrian army and the Russian side, said the report.
Evacuating the ultra-radical groups from Aleppo, mainly the terror-designated Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, previously known as the Nusra Front, is a main demand of Russia and the Syrian government in order to loosen the military offensive against eastern Aleppo.
Earlier in the day, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said that units of the Syrian army have pulled back to allow the rebels to leave the eastern part of Aleppo.
In a statement, the ministry said the military forces withdrew from certain areas, giving the rebels two roads to leave Aleppo toward the northwestern city of Idlib and the western countryside of Aleppo, as part of a truce recently declared by Russia.
The truce will come to effect on Thursday and last for 11 hours, as declared by Russia.
Meanwhile, the ministry stressed that arrangements for evacuating rebels and civilians from eastern Aleppo were finalized, stressing that rebels who surrender themselves will be covered under an amnesty from President Bashar al-Assad.
The ministry also noted that it is exerting all possible efforts to secure the evacuation of civilians and rebels from eastern Aleppo, and deliver aid to the people who will stay inside that part of the city.
The Syrian government and Russia have recently urged the rebels in Aleppo to leave, offering them safe passages.
Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy to Syria, recently proposed the evacuation of the ultra-radical groups from eastern Aleppo, so that the Russian and the Syrian air forces could halt their airstrikes against that part of the city.[ Editor: meng ]