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Al-Assad promises different world after ‘Aleppo liberation’

Thousands of civilians and fighters are being evacuated from the last rebel bastion in the east of the war-ravaged city.

FILE: A general view shows Syrian pro-government forces walking in the ancient Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo on 13 December 2016, after they captured the area. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad says the world will be different after what he calls the liberation of Aleppo.

Thousands of civilians and fighters are being evacuated from the last rebel bastion in the east of the war-ravaged city on Thursday.

It’s part of a ceasefire agreement that could end years of fighting and is seen as a major victory for al-Assad.

He has described the developments as a historic moment.

Meanwhile, South African aid organisation Gift of the Givers has extended its help to civilians fleeing Aleppo.

The organisation has set up two hospitals and a primary health care clinic in the north of Syria.

Gift of the Givers founder Imitiaz Sooliman said: “We are not sending aid into Aleppo because we are expecting everyone to come out of the area, as a result of that we have already begun sending supplies across the Turkish border waiting for the civilians to come in multiple levels.”

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)