Damascus/Geneva: Nearly 150 civilians, most of whom were disabled or in urgent need of care, were evacuated late night from a hospital in the Old City of Aleppo, in a joint operation by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Dar Al-Safaa, originally an elderly home whose role expanded because of the crisis, had been accommodating patients with mental health needs or physical disabilities. Three dozen other civilians, a number of them injured, had also sought refuge there.
"These patients and civilians had been trapped in the area for days because of heavy clashes nearby and as the front line kept drawing closer," said the ICRC's Head of Delegation in Syria, Marianne Gasser, who is currently in Aleppo. "Many of them cannot move and need special attention and care. It must have been terrifying for them. Our partners from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent had been trying to reach and evacuate them since Tuesday."
118 patients were taken to Aleppo's Al-Razi, University or Ibn Khaldoun hospitals, while 30 men, women and children, were transferred to shelters in Western Aleppo. Six orphaned and very young children were amongst the evacuees.