Rescue Workers: Syrian Forces Fire on Convoy Leaving Aleppo

In the moments before buses at last began to evacuate residents of the besieged east Aleppo on Thursday, Syrian government fighters reportedly opened fire on a medical convoy as it rushed to help the rebel-held neighborhood. Those under fire were in ambulances and in need of medical attention. The sniper fire killed at least one person and wounded three, according to a spokesman from the White Helmets civil-defense rescue force. “[Pro-government fighters] fired at us and at ambulance vehicles and those people opening up the road,” the spokesman told Reuters. “The ambulances were on the way to the crossing which was specified to us to for evacuating people and the regime forces started to shoot at us... Even the men who tried to open the road with their trucks, they fired at them,” said another rescue worker. The chief of the ambulance service in the area, Ahmed Sweid, told TV reporters, “The convoy was shot at by regime forces and we have three injured, one of them from civil defense... They were brought back to besieged areas.” “Thousands of people are in need of evacuation, but the first and most urgent thing is wounded, sick, and children, including orphans,” said Jan Egeland, UN humanitarian adviser for Syria.