Syria regime evicts thousands from battle-scarred Aleppo
Authorities in the battle-scarred Syrian city of Aleppo have announced plans to evict residents from 10,000 buildings after a block of flats - damaged from bombing - collapsed over the weekend.
Aleppo's city council announced the decision on Sunday to expel four thousand families after the deadly collapse of a five-storey block in the formerly rebel-held neighbourhood of Salaheddin.
The tragic incident killed at least 11 people, including four children.
Aleppo's governor told pro-regime newspaper Al-Watan that the evicted people would be provided with temporary homes until the war-damaged buildings are renovated or re-built.
"An illegal evacuation decision requires approval from relevant authorities but people's lives are at stake," Hussein Diab was quoted as saying.
Aleppo had been divided for four years, starting in the summer of 2012, between a government-held west and a rebel-held east.
In 2016, the Syrian regime launched a months' long offensive that eventually brought the whole city under government control.
Saleheddin was heavily bombed during the regime onslaught on rebel-held districts with support from Russian warplanes.
What little reconstruction there has been among the ruins has been carried out privately. The state has limited public works to the restoration of basic infrastructure.
Many of the buildings around the block that caved in still bear the scars of the ferocious four-year battle for the country's second city, with several on the brink of collapse.
According to Syrian authorities, half of the remaining buildings in east Aleppo are at risk of collapse.
The conflict has killed more than 400,000 people and led millions to flee their homes since starting with the brutal repression on anti-government protests in 2011.
Washington has estimated the costs of rebuilding Syria's devastated housing and infrastructure at between $300 billion and $400 billion.