Buses attacked, burned on way to Aleppo

A man on a motorcycle drives past burning buses while en route to evacuate ill and injured people from the besieged Syrian villages of al-Foua and Kefraya, after they were attacked and burned, in Idlib province, Syria December 18, 2016. (Reuters)

Several buses en route to evacuate ill and injured people from the besieged Syrian villages of al-Foua and Kefraya were attacked and burned on Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syrian state television said.

Rebel factions in Aleppo have condemned Jabhat Fateh al-Sham's burning of the evacuation bus.

Activists say militants have burned at least five buses assigned to evacuate wounded and sick people from two villages in northern Syria.

The incident could scuttle a wider deal that encompasses the evacuation of thousands of trapped rebel fighters and civilians from the last opposition foothold in east Aleppo.

The opposition’s Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday that the al-Qaida affiliated Fatah al-Sham Front burned buses assigned to evacuate people from the rebel-besieged villages of Foua and Kfarya.

Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group fighting alongside Syria’s government, says the buses were burned during fighting between the al-Qaida-affiliated Fatah al-Sham Front and a rebel group that supported the evacuations.

The Observatory says six buses were burned while Hezbollah’s media outlet put the number at five.

Evacuations to resume

The evacuation of the rebel-held enclave of east Aleppo resumed late on Sunday night after three days of delays, a UN official in Syria told Reuters.

"Evacuations are on. Buses and ambulances are leaving east Aleppo now," the UN official said in an email message, adding that the first people left east Aleppo at around 11 p.m. (2100 GMT).

The official had no immediate information about a planned simultaneous operation to evacuate people from two Shiite villages near Idlib that are besieged by mostly Sunni rebel forces.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:53 - GMT 06:53
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