Tuesday 13 December 2016

Evacuations are due to take place of civilians trapped in east Aleppo following the agreement of a ceasefire between Syrian government forces and rebels fighting to keep control of their territory, according to rebel officials.

The announcement came amid reports of mass killings of civilians who had been stuck in areas taken over by the Syrian army in an advance which has seen rebel-held territory reduced to an area of about two square kilometers.

Yasser al-Yusuf of the Nurdin Az-Zinki brigade told the AFP news agency that its fighters had been allowed to evacuate east Aleppo and take light weapons with them after negotiations were taking place between rebels and Syrian government representatives.

A Syrian army official however has told Reuters that the army had no information about the ceasefire taking place.

Russia’s envoy to the United Nation told Reuters on Tuesday that a deal had been reached for rebel fighters to leave the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo.

“My latest information is that they indeed have an arrangement achieved on the ground that the fighters are going to leave the city,” Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters. It could happen “within hours maybe,” he said.

Sources at the UN earlier told Middle East Eye that it was in negotiations with Syrian and Russian officials to evacuate up to 100,000 people if a 24-hour ceasefire could be agreed.

No confirmation has been given of where exactly civilians and rebels will be evacuated to but an anonymous UN source told MEE they would be taken four kilometers to western Aleppo.

Activists working for NGOs who operate in Aleppo are saying that buses will ferry the besieged civilians to rebel-held parts of Idlib and west Aleppo…

Source: Middle East Eye.

Link: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/rebels-say-evacuation-deal-agreed-east-aleppo-1904796517.