Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

'War is not an option,' says former FARC guerrilla leader

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Madagascar political crisis: top court orders formation of unity government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Ireland's abortion referendum

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Weinstein in court; Ireland abortion vote; Italy's populist takeover

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Sugar and spice: The flavours of the French Caribbean

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

The French are so rude! Or are they?

Read more

REVISITED

Video: After key battle, Syrian town of Kobane looks to the future

Read more

ENCORE!

The writing's on the wall: Revolutionary posters from May 68

Read more

REPORTERS

'We heard there might be a civil war': May 68 seen from abroad

Read more

Middle East

Syrian military has retaken control of Aleppo as last convoy leaves, army says

© George Ourfallian, AFP | Syrian regime forces gather at the Kindi Hospital in Aleppo on October 2, 2016.

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-12-23

The Syrian city of Aleppo returned to government control Thursday after the last remaining opposition fighters and civilians evacuated, the Syrian army said.

The announcement was made through an army statement broadcast on Syrian state TV shortly after the last four buses carrying rebel fighters left through the Ramousseh crossing.

Western Aleppo erupted in celebratory gunfire seen on Syrian TV, which showed uniformed soldiers and civilians shouting slogans in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian government's recapture of Aleppo is a major turning point in the Syrian civil war with potentially powerful political repercussions.

It represents a momentous victory for President Bashar Assad and a crushing defeat for Syria's opposition, which will struggle to forge a way forward.

The ancient city has been divided into rebel and government parts since 2012.

"Thanks to the blood of our heroic martyrs, the heroic deeds and sacrifices of our armed forces and the allied forces, and the steadfastness of our people, the General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces announces the return of security and stability to Aleppo," said the statement read by an army general.

The statement said the victory in Aleppo is a "strategic transformation and a turning point in the war on terrorism and a deadly blow to the terrorist project and its supporters".

It is a further incentive, it added, to go on fighting to "eradicate terrorism and restore security and stability to every span of the homeland".

Syrian President Bashar Assad said earlier that his forces' achievements in Aleppo are a "major step on the road to wiping out terrorism" and should pave the way toward ending Syria's civil war.

The rebel evacuations were set in motion last week after Syria's opposition agreed to surrender its last footholds in eastern Aleppo. Since then, some 35,000 fighters and civilians have been bussed out, according to the United Nations. The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement that more than 4,000 additional fighters were evacuated in private cars, vans and pick-ups from eastern Aleppo since Wednesday.

The departure of the last convoy paves the way for Assad to assume full control after more than four years of fighting over Syria's largest city. It marks his most significant victory since an uprising against his family's four-decade rule swept the country in 2011.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

Timeline: the battle for Aleppo

Date created : 2016-12-22

  • SYRIA

    UN unanimously backs sending observers to Aleppo as evacuations continue

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Video: Medical convoy leaves Paris heading for Syria's Aleppo

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Russia threatens to veto French draft resolution on UN observers in Aleppo

    Read more

COMMENT(S)