Shelling and airstrikes reportedly resumed in Aleppo on Friday (23 December), a day after the last set of rebels left their remaining pocket of territory in the city. The attack by the rebels left six people, including two children killed, a monitoring group has said.
The Syrian Army announced retaking Aleppo on 22 December from rebel forces after a four-year battle, bringing the whole city under the complete control of President Bashar al-Assad's regime. It marked a major victory for the Russia-backed troops.
Shelling on Friday resumed for the first time since the end of the evacuation operation as Assad and his allies thought they were inching closer to finding a political solution in the war-torn country. About 10 shells fell in Aleppo's southwestern al-Hamdaniya district, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
While the war monitoring group said six people were killed, the state television reported at least three were dead.
The strikes hit the west, south-west and south of the city – the areas where the rebels had not targeted for at least a week, Reuters cited the Observatory as saying. It added that the army and its allies conducted a search operation in the districts that were once occupied by rebels for any potential mines or other dangers.
State television footage showed the streets were empty but lined with apartment blocks that were shattered by air strikes in the al-Ansari district.
Aleppo city has seen severe offensive from both sides of the war, with intense air strikes in the last few weeks. Around 35,000 people fled from the rebel-held parts of the besieged city on the last day of evacuation process since a local ceasefire rescue operations began on 15 December.
Many of the evacuees are living as refugees in Idlib province. However, the UN has warned that refugees could face new risks in Idlib. The global body feared Idlib could potentially set to be targeted by Syrian forces along with reinforcements from Russia and Iran.
The UN had also warned that thousands of people still remain stranded in eastern Aleppo in worsening winter conditions.
On Friday (23 December), Assad thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for supporting Syria in the battle. He said retaking Aleppo has opened the doors to a political process.
Russia, Iran and Turkey, along with Assad are expected to meet in Kazakhstan's capital Astana for new peace negotiations.
The warring parties agreed to a UN-backed peace talks in Geneva but broke down earlier this year as clashes escalated, especially around Aleppo.