Syrian government supporters celebrate unification of Aleppo

Supporters of the Syrian government took to the streets of Aleppo to celebrate the unification of the city, after the Syrian military and its allies had retaken complete control of the rebel-held districts. The last rebel fighters were evacuated from the battered city, handing President Bashar Assad his greatest victory of the nearly six-year-old war. “We dedicate this victory to the Doctor, the esteemed President Bashar al-Assad. We dedicate this victory to the Syrian Arab army and to all of Syria. God, Syria and Bashar,” said a celebrating man.

The evacuation of the rebels, who had been holed up in a small, battered enclave in Aleppo, puts the city entirely under the control of the army and its allies after years of fighting. The final phase of the evacuation ended when a convoy carrying nearly 150 people, including fighters and members of their families, departed towards rebel-held areas outside the city. In parallel, two buses carrying people from the pro-government villages of al-Foua and Kefraya, besieged by rebels in the province of Idlib, arrived in government-held Aleppo.