Syrian civilians begin leaving rebel-held parts of Aleppo

BEIRUT: Syrian state media is reporting that dozens of families have started leaving besieged rebel-held neighborhoods in the northern city of Aleppo after the government opened safe corridors for civilians and fighters who want to leave.

State TV showed dozens of women and children arriving at the Salaheddine neighbourhood.

State news agency SANA said civilians later boarded buses and were taken to shelters set up by the government on the western side of Aleppo.

SANA said some fighters came forward to government forces where they handed over their weapons and surrendered to authorities.

Syria's President Bashar Assad has offered an amnesty to rebels who lay down their arms and surrender over the next three months.

The government completely closed the main road into the rebel-held parts of Aleppo on July 17.