People Burning Personal Possessions Ahead of Aleppo Evacuation

Damaged buildings are seen in the government-held al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, during a media tour, Syria December 13, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

BEIRUT, Dec 14 – People in rebel-held eastern Aleppo have been packing their bags and burning personal possessions as they prepare to evacuate the area, a witness said, fearing looting by the Syrian army and its Iran-backed allied militias when they restore control.

Eastern Aleppo residents were seen burning things they could not take with them, such as pictures, books, clothes and even a car, a Reuters witness said, since an evacuation deal was announced late on Tuesday.

The ceasefire and evacuation agreement brokered by Russia, Syrian President Bashir al-Assad’s most powerful ally, and Turkey ended years of fighting in the city and has given Assad his biggest victory yet after more than five years of war.

The evacuation was expected to have begun at dawn on Wednesday but has been delayed for reasons which are not yet clear, war monitor the Syrian Observatory has said.

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