The Iranian media reports that the evacuation of Syrian rebels and civilians from eastern Aleppo has come to an end, and that the entire city is now under the control of the Syrian army. As per a Turkish-Russian evacuation deal, the last “green buses with armed militants” left Aleppo today, Iran’s Fars News Agency confirmed.

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Iranian leaders and media outlets describe the seizure of Aleppo as a “pivotal point” that could strengthen Iran’s ally Bashar al-Assad and further consolidate Iran’s influence in Syria and the broader region.  

Aleppo was the last urban stronghold for the Syrian opposition, which have fought the Baathist dictatorship in Damascus since 2011. Once Syria’s largest city and industrial hub, Aleppo has been reduced to rubble by frequent bombardments by Russian and Assad forces. While Syrian government claims its army has recaptured Aleppo, in reality it was the Iranian-led forces that had brought Aleppo under a brutal siege, massacred thousands of innocent civilians, and forced lightly-armed opposition forces to leave the city.