I'm seeing a lot of people talk about 100,000 left and remaining in eastern Aleppo,

EXCLUSIVE: UN in talks to evacuate 100,000 from east Aleppo

A United Nations source speaking to Middle East Eye on condition of anonymity said on Tuesday that it stood ready to evacuate 100,000 people from besieged rebel-held territory in eastern Aleppo if a 24-hour ceasefire is put in place.

Turkish deputy PM says 80,000-100,000 may be evacuated from Aleppo

Damaged buildings are seen in the government-held al-Shaar neighborhood of Aleppo, during a media tour, Syria December 13, 2016. REUTERS ISTANBUL: Turkey is considering establishing a camp in Syria for civilians being evacuated from Aleppo and the number of people brought out of the city could reach 100,000, Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said on Thursday.

What is the methodology that generates this 100,000 number? Is it propaganda?


2 Answers 2


The sources quoted in the question suggest that there are 100,000 civilians total in East Aleppo. By this is apparently meant the entire area that was held by rebels between 2013 and 2016.

By 13 December, 98% of the city had been retaken by the Assad regime. On that day the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation, which is on the ground in Aleppo, said that roughly 110,000 civilians were safe in regime-controlled districts. The Center itself had counted and confirmed 95,000 civilians in East Aleppo and was providing them with medical attention and care, according to Vanessa Beeley, a freelance pro-regime journalist; the remaining 15,000 was an estimate of those not yet spotted by authorities. The official count rose a few days later to 108,000.

Also on 13 December, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a freelance pro-rebel journalist group run by a Britain-based blogger which is generally recognized as a reliable source, concluded that 442 civilians were killed by pro-regime forces during the retaking of Aleppo, as well as 130 civilians killed by pro-rebel forces. It has not reported any deaths in East Aleppo since then.

On 14 December, Zouhir Alshimale, a freelance pro-rebel journalist reporting from within the 2% of the city still held by rebels, estimated that 60,000 civilians remained in his area. Reports made from within the rebel-held territory have been called into question by some media. In contrast, the professional Kuwaiti journalist Elijah Magnier -- who has been covering the war for several years and has high-level connections -- estimated that only 10,000 civilians remained.

On 16 December, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights noted that shelling had stopped over the period 15-16 December. On that day, a Turkish-Russian agreement to evacuate both citizens and rebel militants was upheld, and thousands of militants were observed leaving Aleppo with their families.

On 17 December, Arab League Envoy to Syria -- that is to say, anti-regime source -- Staffan de Mistura estimated that 40,000 civilians remained in the 2% rebel-held pockets of the city. A day later, Reuters, relying on Syrian state television, quoted an estimate of 15,000 people (presumably including militants).

As of the evening of December 18, the evacuation has been temporarily halted because rebels are shelling the evacuation buses and threatening to murder those who ride them.

With the exception of the Russian and SOHR figures, all the other numbers here are estimates.

  • I don't think Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is a generally recognized as a reliable source, but as a source of propaganda -- sure. And, it's worthy putting here. Dec 20, 2016 at 0:40
  • @EvanCarroll I listen to a war analysis podcast and they refer to it as a grade above the average rebel source, while stressing that the actual posts are the work of one guy in London. Probably difficult to judge "reliability" as a common consensus but that's the basis of my statement.
    – Avery
    Dec 20, 2016 at 1:18

According to official estimates by International Committee of the Red Cross, 88773 people were evacuated from East Aleppo of which 35000 went to rebel held areas and the rest to Government controlled areas. The same figure was quoted (and accepted) by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Evacuations escorted by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red Cross from besieged neighbourhoods in eastern Aleppo came to an end on 22 December.

An inter-agency UN team were present at the Ramoussah Bridge to observe the evacuation process since it began on 15 December.

Overall, the ICRC estimates that more than 35,000 people have been evacuated from the besieged neighbourhoods in eastern Aleppo. 734 patients were medically evacuated.

As of 23 December, at least 53,773 have been displaced from eastern Aleppo to Government controlled areas.

UN and partners are accessing most areas of eastern Aleppo that have recently been retaken by the Government to assess the situation of civilians and respond to their needs. Access to all areas of Aleppo is required.

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