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Syrian Army Says It Has Retaken Aleppo, Last Rebels Evacuated


Syrian pro-government forces walk as snow falls in Aleppo on December 21.

The Syrian Army says it has retaken Aleppo entirely as the last group of rebel fighters has been evacuated.

Syrian state television said that the last group of rebels and their families remaining in a small enclave in eastern Aleppo were evacuated on December 22 under a deal that gives the army and its allies full control of the city after years of fighting.

Ahmed Qorra Ali, an official with the rebel group Ahrar al-Sham, confirmed that "the last convoy has left the rebel-controlled area."

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), some 30,000 people have been bused out of eastern Aleppo since last week.

The evacuation was conducted under a cease-fire deal brokered by Russia and Turkey after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces and their allies drove rebels out of most of eastern Aleppo in an offensive criticized by the UN, the United States, and human rights groups for the high death toll inflicted on civilians in the city.

The ancient city has been divided into rebel and government parts since 2012.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

Based on reporting by AP and AFP