Syrian rebels announce new evacuation deal for Aleppo

Syrian rebel groups announce new ceasefire deal that would see the evacuation of wounded people and civilians from Aleppo.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Smoke rises in eastern Aleppo
Smoke rises in eastern Aleppo
Reuters

Syrian rebel groups on Wednesday announced a new ceasefire deal that would see the evacuation of wounded people and civilians from opposition-held districts of Aleppo the following morning.

A source close to Syria's government denied the development, however, while the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said hostilities were ongoing.

The announcement came after a previous deal to evacuate both rebels and civilians was put on hold Wednesday, with the opposition, the Syrian government, and their backers trading accusations for the agreement's suspension.

Officials from the Nureddin al-Zinki and the hardline Ahrar al-Sham rebel groups confirmed to AFP that the truce deal had come into effect in second city Aleppo.

"A ceasefire has come into effect in Aleppo after negotiations between the Russians and the Turkish Red Crescent," said Yasser al-Youssef, a Nureddin al-Zinki political official.

"The first group of civilians and wounded people will leave at dawn on Thursday," Youssef told AFP.

He said an agreement on rebels had also been reached but did not give details on their evacuation.

It was unclear whether the new deal included a condition that wounded people would also be evacuated from Fuaa and Kefraya, two Shiite-majority towns in northwest Syria.

Ahrar al-Sham's Ahmad Qura Ali confirmed a ceasefire had come into effect and that injured people and civilians would be transferred out of Aleppo in the morning.

But news of the deal was denied by a source close to Syria's government, who said fighting was still ongoing across the city.

"There is no agreement, the negotiations are ongoing," the source said.

The Observatory told AFP that fierce shelling continued in Aleppo.

Diplomats were working Wednesday to rescue a fraying evacuation deal announced the previous evening by rebel groups and Russia.

Syria, it allies Russia and Iran, and rebel backer Turkey had been locked in negotiations to revive the agreement.

Fighting was rocking Aleppo late Wednesday, sending terrified civilians running through the streets of Aleppo in search of shelter.

Syrian government troops have seized more than 90 percent of east Aleppo, seized by rebel groups in 2012.

AFP contributed to this report.




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