Syria: Elderly, disabled evacuated from Aleppo

  • 09/12/2016
A deserted street in Aleppo (Getty)
A deserted street in Aleppo (Getty)

Nearly 150 civilians, most disabled or elderly in need of medical care, have been evacuated overnight from a hospital in Aleppo's Old City. It's the first major evacuation from the eastern sector.

"These patients and civilians had been trapped in the area for days because of heavy clashes nearby and as the front line kept drawing closer," said the head of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in Syria, Marianne Gasser, who is in the city.

Among those evacuated from Dar Al-Safaa hospital - reclaimed by Syrian government forces on Tuesday - 118 patients were taken to three hospitals in the west of Aleppo and 30 people were taken to shelters, also in the west of the city, the ICRC said in a statement.

The evacuation was conducted jointly with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, it said.

More than 800 people have been killed and between 3000 and 3500 have been wounded in Syria's besieged eastern Aleppo in the past 26 days, while the remaining trapped civilians await an effective death sentence, the president of the Aleppo local council says.

"Today 150,000 people are threatened with extermination. We are calling for a halt to the bombing and guarantees of safe passage of all," Brita Haji Hassan said on Thursday during a trip to Geneva, where he will meet UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura on Monday.

Tawfik Chamaa, a representative of the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organisations (UOSSM), said 1500 people needed medical evacuation, but any evacuation should have international observers to prevent them being "executed or diverted on the way to hospital".