The members of radical groups, seizing a number of neighborhoods in Eastern Aleppo, started releasing the captured military personnel in accordance with an agreement with Syrian authorities.
According to Al Watan newspaper, the first soldier was handed over to the Syrian army at the Al Amiriya checkpoint in the southern part of the city on Tuesday.
The soldier spent over four years in captivity, and his release is the first step toward the implementation of the local ceasefire agreement. In accordance with the agreement, the evacuation of militants will be held in parallel with the evacuation of wounded civilians and militia from Fua and Kefraya in the northern province of Idlib. About 1,200 people are expected to be evacuated from this area. Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, following the protests that had turned violent, as part of the so-called Arab Spring. Over the recent months, Aleppo became a major battleground in the country.
On December 16, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that Aleppo was under full government control with the Syrian army operation to retake the eastern districts completed. Civilians and militants were leaving the city amid a ceasefire agreement between the remaining pockets of resistance and government forces.
On Monday, about 700 people were evacuated from Fua and Kefraya and safely transported to Aleppo. Earlier on Wednesday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that around 25,000 people were already evacuated from Syria’s Eastern Aleppo, still the process was likely to take several more days.