Russia, Turkey, Iran to meet in Moscow on Syria

Smoke rises after rebel fighters launch a mortar shell on a residential neighborhood in western Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. The government seized large swaths of the Aleppo enclave under rebel control since 2012 in the offensive that began last week. The fighting was most intense Monday near the dividing line between east and west Aleppo as government and allied troops push their way from the eastern flank, reaching within less than a kilometer, about half a mile, from the citadel that anchors the center of the city. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

BEIRUT (AP) — The Russian military says defense ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran will meet in Moscow to discuss Syria.

The meeting, due Tuesday, will coincide with the meeting of the three nation’s foreign ministers, also in the Russian capital. The military said on Monday that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu will host his Iranian counterpart Hossein Dehghan and Turkey’s Fikri Isik.

It says they will discuss ways to resolve the Syrian conflict and help implement U.N. Security Council’s resolutions on Syria.

Turkey says some 4,500 people have been evacuated from eastern Aleppo since midnight, as a fragile cease-fire in Syria resumed.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said through his Twitter account on Monday that a total of 12,000 people have so far been evacuated from the besieged city to an area under opposition control.

The evacuations were made possible through a cease-fire deal brokered by Russia and Turkey that paved way for rebels and civilians to leave the last opposition-held enclave in the city.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency says a total of 131 wounded people — including 46 children — were brought to Turkey for treatment since the evacuations began last week.

The agency says five of them have since died.

Russia is allied with Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Turkey is a leading sponsor of the opposition battling to topple him.