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Over the past week, more than 18,000 residents have escaped eastern Aleppo to seek safety in government-held neighbourhoods while a total of 647 rebel fighters have turned themselves in to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), according to the Russian Ministry of Defence. Thousands more fled into Kurdish custody at the Sheikh Maqsoud district.

The vast majority of the militants have been granted amnesty and will not face prosecution. However, a few dozen fighters are still detained by Syrian authorities over security concerns and will be interrogated.

Meanwhile, Moscow sent its elite Russian sappers from Palmyra to Aleppo in order to demine buildings in recently captured neighbourhoods in the northeastern part of the city. A Russian mobile hospital has also been sent to the area to treat wounded civilians.

Nevertheless, the SAA continued its military operations in the provincial capital of Aleppo on Wednesday, thus gradually reducing the size of the rebel pocket. Huge gains are underway at the Al-Amiriyah and Sheikh Sa’eed districts. More to follow on this shortly…