>> Finally, a possible way out for Aleppo's trapped residents. The Syrian government says over 150 civilians have managed to leave the besieged east of the city. And according to Moscow, nearly 70 rebels have surrendered. The claims are hard to verify but those apparently leaving are just a fraction of the number trapped in the rebel-held sector of the divided city.
Last week, Damascus and Moscow announced a joint humanitarian operation. They dropped leaflets on the city telling fighters to surrender and offering safe corridors for civilians to leave. But so far most of Aleppo's 250,000 civilians have shunned the designated exit routes. They fear what might happen to them if they enter government-held areas, particularly with no UN body or NGO to oversee the evacuation.
The UN has raised its own misgivings about the plan, saying it should be the one to evacuate civilians.>> Our suggestion is to Russia to actually leave the corridors being established at their initiative to us. The UN and the humanitarian partners, as you know, know what to do.
They have an experience, that's our job.>> US officials are equally skeptical, suggesting it may be an attempt to depopulate the city so their army can seize it. If government forces do retake it, it would be the biggest victory for President Bashar al-Assad in five years of fighting.