Sat Jul 30, 2016 06:38PM
The picture provided by the Syrian state news agency, SANA, shows government forces walking with their weapons past rubble after they advanced on the southern side of the Castello Road in Aleppo on July 28, 2016. ©Reuters
The picture provided by the Syrian state news agency, SANA, shows government forces walking with their weapons past rubble after they advanced on the southern side of the Castello Road in Aleppo on July 28, 2016. ©Reuters

Russia has announced that four additional “humanitarian corridors” will be opened for Syrian civilians to leave the besieged city of Aleppo.

“Four humanitarian corridors are being opened, in addition to those prepared earlier for the exit of civilians from Aleppo neighborhoods controlled by militants,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

It added that three corridors had already begun working in the area.

Some 169 civilians have been able to get out of “the neighborhoods controlled by illegal armed groups through the exit points,” since the start of the humanitarian operation, the statement noted.

The Russian ministry also said that 85 civilians left the eastern parts of Aleppo on Friday, with 52 more on Saturday, adding that the Syrian government has "prepared six humanitarian aid centers which can accommodate three thousand people."

The ministry further said that 69 militants have laid down arms and 59 people received medical treatment.

The announcement comes as dozens of Syrian families are leaving militant-held neighborhoods of Aleppo through safe passages created by the Syrian army.

Syria’s state news agency, SANA, reported on Saturday that among those evacuating the eastern areas of Aleppo were armed militants who handed over their weapons and surrendered to authorities.

Some of them have arrived in temporary shelters set up by the army in the western part of Aleppo, the report said.

State television broadcast footage showed civilians, mostly women and children, walking under the watch of government troops and boarding buses.

It also showed a handful of young men, who were surrendering to government forces. All had covered their faces, and most were carrying weapons aloft.

Earlier this week, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad offered an amnesty to militants who lay down their arms and surrender to authorities in the next three months.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said that around 20 people had crossed into government-controlled territory during the evacuation on Saturday.

The latest developments come after the Syrian army and allied forces cut off all supply routes through the Castello Road used by militants into eastern Aleppo.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.