Final evacuations resume in Aleppo as snow hits city

All civilians and opposition fighters should be out of the area within two days

Final evacuations resume in Aleppo as snow hits city

A general picture shows Aleppo citadel and the President Mosque, in the Syrian government controlled central Aleppo. Picture by Hassan Ammar AP/Press Association Images

The final phase of evacuations from former rebel-held parts of Aleppo is under way, with families braving the sleet and snow to leave the city.

The last hospital patients in east Aleppo have now been moved, as have all residents needing urgent medical care, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Aleppo's hospitals and doctors were regularly targeted by Syrian government forces as they sought to get rid of opposition fighters this year.

Last month, the United Nations said it believed there were no functioning medical facilities left in the city.

Around 25,000 people have been bused out of Aleppo since last week as part of a deal overseen by the Red Cross and brokered by Syrian government backer Russia and rebel supporter Turkey.

Under the deal, all civilians and opposition fighters should be out of the area within two days, according to Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.

He also told reporters after a meeting with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts that they had agreed fighting terrorism was more of a priority than removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Some of Aleppo's residents have described the evacuations as forced displacement.

Once eastern Aleppo has been evacuated - predicted to happen overnight - the Syrian government is expected to announce that it has complete control over city.

Among those saved earlier in the week was Bana Alabed who, with her mother, has been tweeting from the war-torn city.

On Wednesday she met Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential palace in Ankara, where she received an emotional hug from the leader.

It is not clear whether Bana and her family will stay in Turkey, a country hosting some 2.7 million refugees from Syria.

Earlier on Wednesday, eight buses of residents from two villages in Syria's Idlib province, where rebels remain in control, arrived west of Aleppo.

The evacuations from the Shia-majority villages of Foua and Kafraya were part of the Aleppo ceasefire deal.

Meanwhile, 14 Turkish soldiers were killed and more than 33 injured in fighting against Islamic State militants near the town of al Bab, about 25 miles north east of Aleppo, in northern Syria on Wednesday.

There were also 138 jihadists killed in the clashes, according to the Turkish military.