Syrian families queue to get onto governmental buses in the regime-held eastern neighbourhood of Jabal Badro, before heading to government-controlled western Aleppo. Pic/AFP
Beirut: Over 50,000 have fled rebel-held east Aleppo in the last four days as government forces advance, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said yesterday.
The monitor said over 20,000 had fled to western neighbourhoods of the city held by the government, with another 30,000 moving to areas held by Kurdish forces.
Syrian troops have seized at least a third of eastern Aleppo since renewing their bid to recapture all of the city just over two weeks ago.
The former rebel stronghold has been under a government siege for over four months. The government has said passages are open for civilians or surrendering rebels to cross into the west of the city, and accused opposition forces of trying to prevent residents from leaving.
Many have chosen to go from the east to neighbourhoods held by Kurdish forces, which are aligned with neither the regime nor rebels.
Regime shelling kills 21
Government shelling killed 21 civilians, including two children, in an eastern district of Aleppo yesterday, the Observatory said. It added that dozens more were hurt in the artillery fire on the rebel-held Jubb al-Qubbeh district.
Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said many were stuck under the rubble of collapsed buildings.
According to the White Helmets, a rescue group in opposition-controlled Syrian territory, the artillery fire hit a group of displaced civilians seeking refuge from other eastern districts.
2 Israeli missiles hit near Damascus
The Israeli air force fired two missiles at dawn yesterday that hit near Damascus; there were no casualties, Syrian state television said. “The air force of the Israeli enemy launched two missiles from Lebanese air space,” it said, adding that they hit the Sabbura area.