A large number of rebel fighters who surrendered themselves to Assad forces and allied militias were actually part of a regime intelligence operation tasked with overseeing the fall of opposition-held Aleppo, well informed sources told Zaman al-Wasl.
The sources indicated that the success of the intelligence operations, supervised by the Air Force Security branch in Aleppo and headed by Gen. Adeeb Salameh, led to the rapid capture of the city's eastern neighborhoods.
Salameh recently confirmed that the security branch had recruited huge number of agents in the rebel’s ranks since the start of military operations in Aleppo. Opposition judicial sources previously indicated that a number of rebel fighters confessed to being recruited by regime forces in liberated areas and being affiliated with intelligence branches.
Relief sources in Aleppo said the pro-regime militias prevented humanitarian organizations from entering neighborhoods under their control because of the widespread looting of houses by militants.
The sources estimated that 80,000 people, mostly women and children, fled the Syrian-Russian bombing toward the western neighborhoods of Aleppo.
The sources pointed out that temporary shelters were established in Jibreen, clarifying that young men are not present with those who fled because they either were arrested by regime forces or forced into compulsory military service.
According to the sources, relief organizations including the Syrian Red Crescent have offered the refugees medical services, water and food, as well as installing solar energy to provide power to the shelters.
Meanwhile, opposition sources told Zaman al-Wasl that some families had left the eastern neighborhoods on December 9 toward the regime-controlled districts through Aziziye village, but their fate remains unknown.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.