Sergei Rudskoy, chief of the General Staff Main Operational Directorate, said that the Syrian Arab Army now controls 93 percent of Aleppo. Rudskoy said:
Due to its successful advance, [the Syrian Arab Army] freed 52 districts in eastern Aleppo from the jihadists; over the past 4 days, they’ve reduced the territory controlled by militants by one-third. More than 1,000 militants have laid down arms and left eastern Aleppo; the Syrian government granted amnesty to 953 of them.
Speaking to Sputnik, military expert Igor Korotchenko, chief editor of the magazine National Defence, said:
I predict that the complete liberation of Aleppo will happen within days or weeks. The situation in Aleppo for the Syrian government army and the militia is evolving in their favour, so we can talk about a turning point in the fighting. They’ve already liberated a significant part of eastern Aleppo from the terrorists, with civilians returning to their homes. A number of militants laid down their arms and left Aleppo under the guarantees of the Russian Centre for Syrian Reconciliation. Therefore, I think that in the next few days, maybe few weeks, government troops will take full control of Aleppo. That’d put an end to the suffering of civilians under the control of the terrorists. Those militants who continue to offer pointless resistance to the government forces have resorted to the most barbaric methods of warfare. Unfortunately, we see that provocations continue, such as the barbaric bombardment of the Russian mobile military hospital in Aleppo, which left two military medics dead and another wounded. Someone clearly masterminded this barbaric action by the terrorists [beforehand]; the Western countries that support the jihadists, especially the USA, have moral responsibility for it.
Meanwhile, the Russian Centre for Syrian Reconciliation announced that almost 18,000 civilians managed to flee from militant-controlled areas of Aleppo. The centre noted that Russian servicemen cleared about 8 hectares (19.75 acres) of mined areas in Aleppo, removing explosives from 24 buildings, including two schools, two mosques, and an electric power substation. Within the past 24 hours, some 28 militants surrendered.
10 December 2016