Monitor Says Syrians Being Held by Government in Aleppo

Syrians that evacuated the eastern districts of Aleppo gather to board buses, in a government held area in Aleppo, Syria in this handout picture provided by SANA on November 29, 2016. SANA/Handout via REUTERS

BEIRUT, Nov 30 – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday the Syrian government had detained hundreds of people forced to flee rebel-held areas of east Aleppo by a fierce attack aimed at taking back the whole city.

A Syrian military source denied anyone had been arrested but said the identities of people leaving rebel-held areas were being checked and that anyone who was unknown was being put in “specific places” in areas where civilians were gathered. The source said this was in case militants had left with them.

“A large amount of people came out,” the source said. “There are enormous numbers that need checking and follow-up. That’s the situation.”

The Observatory, a British-based war monitor, said the government was detaining and questioning displaced people who have fled towards northeastern parts of the city, which the army and its allies have captured from rebels in recent days.

Some of the young men may be taken to join the army, while others may be investigated, it added.

More than 300 people are currently missing, the Observatory said.

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