Erdogan, Obama discuss latest situation in Aleppo

Erdogan, Obama discuss latest situation in Aleppo
# 15 December 2016 19:37 (UTC +04:00)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he discussed the current situation in Syria's Aleppo and Iraq with U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday, APA reports quoting Anadolu agency.

In remarks made during a press conference in Ankara with his Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor, Erdogan said: "We had a long conversation with Obama. I told him about the evacuation problems in Aleppo and he asked how he could help."

The president said the massacre and oppression committed against the people of Aleppo was now out in the open in front of the whole world. "Having such a tragedy in the 21st century is a shame for humanity. If we want a solution in Syria, the current situation in Aleppo must be taken under control," Erdogan said.

He also said some 1,150 civilians, including injured people arrived in Syria’s Idlib city by Thursday evening.

"We are closely following the cease-fire process and we will continue to do so. Surely, the number [of trapped people in Aleppo] is not so small, but there are scores. I hope this [cease-fire] progress will not be interrupted again," he added.

According to an agreement between the Assad regime and Syrian opposition groups, civilians evacuated from eastern Aleppo will continue to head towards Idlib, which is located near the border with Turkey.

On Thursday, the first group of people evacuated from Aleppo reached the opposition-controlled safe zone in Syria, according to Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak.

Violence escalated in Aleppo city on Monday when Syrian regime forces advanced into opposition-held parts of eastern parts of the city following a five-month siege and persistent aerial bombardment.

Around 80,000 civilians are believed to have been trapped in these areas.

The Russian-backed regime had been trying to reestablish control over parts of Aleppo captured four years ago by armed opposition groups.

Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests – which had erupted as part of the Arab Spring uprisings – with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed by the conflict and millions more displaced.