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Deal reached to resume Aleppo evacuations: Reports

17 December 2016 15:32

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A new deal has reportedly been reached between the Syrian government and the militants in the city of Aleppo to resume the evacuations of civilians and the remaining armed groups from the east of the city, after an earlier halt in the evacuation operations.

Evacuations were suspended on Friday after the militants fired on corridors set up to let out the civilians and militants in eastern Aleppo and prevented residents from leaving the two militant-besieged villages of Fua’a and Kefraya in Idlib Province despite an agreement reached the day before.

Reports on Saturday quoted Syrian government sources as saying that the new deal would see a resumption of the evacuations. The fresh deal was reportedly reached after the militants agreed to allow residents out of the two villages.

Thousands have already been transferred out of Aleppo, where full government control was recently restored, before the suspension of the deal on Friday.

Earlier on Saturday, Syria’s armed opposition had said that a new agreement was struck to complete the evacuations from the militant-held areas of eastern Aleppo. Al-Farouk Abu Bakr, a Syrian militant, told news channel al-Arabiya al-Hadath on Saturday that the deal included an evacuation from the two villages in Idlib as well as from the towns of Madaya and Zabadani.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition monitoring group, said some 4,000 people, including injured ones, could be evacuated from the villages starting from Saturday.

Meanwhile, Syrian state television said that the militants in the villages of Zakiya and Deir Khabieh in the southwestern countryside of the capital, Damascus, have also laid down their weapons and surrendered to the Syrian authorities as part of another deal between the two sides.

The news comes as the Syrian troops continue to advance against the militants in the countryside of Damascus.

The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which started in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 people, according to an August estimate by UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

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