Shelling and gunfire erupted in Aleppo on Wednesday though the battle for control of the Syrian city Aleppo was deemed over a few hours earlier, reported Reuters. Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said the rebel resistance will likely come to an end in the next couple of days.
Government forces had reportedly reached a ceasefire agreement with rebels who had agreed to withdraw from their last post in the eastern part of the city. The evacuation was said to be stalled after Iran imposed new conditions, officials told Reuters.
The Russian government and Iran are backing the Bashar al-Assad regime against the rebels, who have the support of Turkey. The truce was reached after talks between Russia, Iran and Turkey. Russia on Tuesday declared that the four-year battle was over.
“Over the last hour we have received information that the military activities in east Aleppo have stopped, it has stopped,” Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin told Reuters. “The Syrian government has established control over east Aleppo.”
Both sides agreed to evacuate civilians from the region starting 5 am on Wednesday. However, according to a Reuters report, no one left the city by dawn and the 20 buses waiting to take people into rebel districts did not move. With the rebel fighters pushed out of Aleppo, the government will have control over the city that it has been fighting for more than four years. Civilians will reportedly be given the choice to leave the city with the fighters or join the government camp, reported The New York Times. However, reports have emerged about execution-style killings by government forces as they started taking control of the city on Tuesday.
The deal came amid heart-wrenching messages from east Aleppo residents who took to social media to either plead for help or say their goodbyes. Civilians were holed up in their houses for days as the government forces continued to bomb the region.
More than 82 civilians were killed on Tuesday alone with “The reports we had are of people being shot in the street while trying to flee and shot in their homes. There could be many more,” said UN spokesperson Rupert Colville, adding that the situation looked like a “complete meltdown of humanity”. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, “Every hour, butcheries are carried out.”