BEIRUT – Russia’s U.N. ambassador says all military action in eastern Aleppo has ended and the Syrian government has re-established control over the former rebel-held area.
Vitaly Churkin spoke Tuesday near the end of an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, saying “according to the latest information that we received in the last hour, military actions in eastern Aleppo are over.”
He says that as a result, “there is no issue of some cessation of hostilities, or some special humanitarian operation.” He added that “the Syrian government has re-established control over eastern Aleppo.”
Reporters were not immediately able to confirm that the fighting had stopped or that all the rebels had surrendered.
Churkin said earlier that “all militants” and members of their families, as well as those wounded in the fighting, “currently are going through agreed corridors in directions that they have chosen themselves voluntarily, including toward Idlib,” a rebel stronghold.
The evacuation of the remaining rebels would mark a major victory for President Bashar Assad and return Syria’s largest city to full government control for the first time since rebels seized the eastern half in 2012.