U.N. approves monitors for evacuation
Russia, Iran seek political settlement in Syria.
BEIRUT — The leaders of Russia and Iran, military allies of Syria’s president, talked Monday about joining forces to reach a quick political settlement in Syria, as the country’s largest city, Aleppo, was poised to return to full government control.
Syrian state TV said it expected the evacuation of thousands of civilians and fighters from the last opposition footholds in Aleppo to be completed by early today.
As more people left the city, the U.N. Security council approved a compromise French-Russian resolution urging the immediate deployment of U.N. monitors to watch over the evacuation and “the well-being of civilians” remaining in the city. U.N. officials said more than 100 U.N. humanitarian staff already on the ground in Aleppo, most of them Syrian nationals, could be used in that role.
France’s U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said the goal of the resolution is “to avoid new mass atrocities by the forces on the ground and the militias in particular.” But thousands of people have already been evacuated from the city and the operation could be completed before the observers arrive.
The departure of the last rebels from Aleppo would close another chapter in Syria’s civil war and would give President Bashar Assad a significant symbolic and strategic victory.
Syria’s Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari speaks to reporters Monday after a Security Council meeting at U.N. headquarters.