Leaving home: Syrians evacuate Aleppo (PHOTOS)

15, 2016. Credit:

Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

“In the midst of both the sadness and the celebration there is also profound relief — relief that the sounds of the bombardment, the shelling, the airstrikes will come to an end,” Doucet says. The withdrawal began a month to the day after Syrian government forces launched a major offensive to retake all of   Aleppo, and will hand the regime its biggest victory in more than five years of civil war. From Beirut on Thursday, she told The World what she witnessed in Syria. 15, 2016. Thousands of civilians and rebels left   Aleppo   on Thursday under an evacuation deal that will allow Syria’s regime to take full control of the city after years of fighting. 15, 2016. Credit:

Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Although it’s Assad who is claiming victory in the fall of Aleppo, Doucet says when the rebels first seized territory in July of 2012 in eastern Aleppo, “they believed that the world, that Western powers, the Arab states were behind them.”

Men react as they stand outside buses evacuating people from a rebel-held sector of eastern Aleppo, Syria, on Dec. “It is such a sad, sad commentary on how the people have suffered so terribly in this war — suffered at the hands of all sides in this war.”

An evacuee from rebel-held east Aleppo carries bread upon her arrival with others at the town of al-Rashideen   which is held by insurgents, in Syria on   Dec. “In the driving rain, in the cold winter temperatures, old men hobbling on sticks, children coming in creaky prams, old women carrying the bundles of all the worldly goods that they still have left, leaving their homes — what’s left of their homes — behind,” Doucet said. Credit:

Ammar Abdullah/Reuters

“This is very much a moment [the rebel fighters]   don’t want the world to see,” Doucet says. In a video message to Syrians, President Bashar al-Assad described the emptying of Aleppo after weeks of brutal strikes a “liberation.”
The BBC’s Lyse Doucet was in Aleppo last week. 15, 2016. “That Aleppo can look to the future.”

A child reacts from inside a bus evacuating people from a rebel-held sector of eastern Aleppo, Syria, on Dec. Credit:

Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Agence France-Presse contributed to this report. “It is a surrender, and in some ways a very humiliating surrender.”

A man waits with others to be evacuated from a rebel-held sector of eastern Aleppo, Syria, on Dec.