Snipers in Aleppo, firing at ambulances, stall latest evacuation effort

The New York Times reports: The latest effort to evacuate Syrian civilians and insurgent fighters from rebel-held neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo was bogged down Thursday morning, after one person was killed and several civilians and humanitarian aid workers were wounded while being transported to Red Cross ambulances, opposition figures said.

The White Helmets, a group of volunteer emergency workers, said on Twitter that one of its members had been struck by a bullet fired by a government sniper.

Bassem Ayoub, an activist in eastern Aleppo, said that gunmen had targeted the ambulances as well as wounded people being taken to them for evacuation, and that at least six people had been shot.

Dozens of green buses were lined up at the Ramouseh crossing between eastern and western Aleppo.

Syrian state television showed Red Cross ambulances waiting to take people away, with damaged buildings in the background. White smoke could be seen rising, apparently after fighters and activists set fire to their headquarters, cars and warehouses before leaving.

Thousands of people had gathered outside a hospital in the Mashhad neighborhood, which is still controlled by rebels, hoping that an evacuation deal announced on Tuesday by Turkey, Russia and Syrian rebels would hold. But the constant threat from snipers, bombs and shelling was unsettling. [Continue reading…]

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