The evacuation agreement between Aleppo East seems buried, for now. The last convoy of a bus carrying twenty rebels and civilians turned back to the besieged neighbourhoods after being stuck for hours to pass Ramoussa, south-west of the city.
The most worrying sign is the redeployment of Syrian troops and their allies in battle stance in this area, which marks the front line. Bulldozers erected earthen embankments, which were removed to allow the passage of convoys to areas held by rebels outside Aleppo.
Further west, in the province of Hama, the bus that would evacuate wounded and sick in 1200 pro-regime besieged localities of Foua and Kefraya, also turned back. The entire operation is compromised.
The evacuation of civilians from the besieged area was suspended at 10 am this morning and each party gives his explanation. A Syrian security source accused the rebels of failing to meet the terms of the agreement. Sources Hezbollah support Assad, they said, from Beirut, the rebels have brought with them fighters from the Lebanese Shiite party and Syrian soldiers captured during the fighting, says our correspondent in Beirut, Paul Khalifeh.
Before the announcement of the suspension of the operation of gunfire and explosions were heard near the crossing point Ramoussa, south-west of Aleppo taken by the convoys evacuated the rebels towards the suburbs and Rachidine the town of Khan Toumane, held by insurgents.
Currently, more than 9,000 rebels and their families were able to leave the besieged neighbourhoods of Aleppo. Thousands of others are still waiting for their turn.
It is still unclear when the evacuations will resume in Aleppo East. The Russian Defense Ministry said that the operation was over and had been completed, allowing the evacuation of all those who wished. Syrian sources, the regime and the opposition, as well as Turkey, however, contend that the evacuation was suspended and not terminated.
Ban Ki-moon calls for the resumption of the evacuations
The Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-moon for his part called on Friday for the urgent resumption of the evacuations in Aleppo told the press "The United Nations mobilise all possible resources, staff and require the parties to take all necessary steps to allow the resumption of the safe evacuation process,".
"The United Nations stands ready to do all that is necessary at any time to rescue as many people as possible," he said, lamenting the suspension of evacuations " because of the struggles of the Syrian armed groups ". " The carnage in Syria leaves a gaping hole in the global consciousness," said he said in speaking of "collective failure".