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Hezbollah media says deal on track to let rebels leave Aleppo
December 15, 2016 / 5:40 AM / a year ago

Hezbollah media says deal on track to let rebels leave Aleppo

AMMAN (Reuters) - A military media unit run by Damascus’s ally Hezbollah said early on Thursday that overnight contacts succeeded in reviving a ceasefire that would lead to the evacuation of rebels from Aleppo “within hours”.

A still image from video taken December 12, 2016 of a general view of smoke rising over bomb damaged eastern Aleppo, Syria. Video released December 12, 2016. REUTERS/via ReutersTV

“Intensive contacts between the responsible parties involved in the negotiations led to re-consolidating a ceasefire to exit armed fighters from eastern districts in the next few hours,” the unit said in a statement.

Hezbollah is an armed Lebanese Shi‘ite political group backed by Iran that is heavily involved in the fighting in Aleppo.

An evacuation deal that allows thousands of civilians and fighters to leave Aleppo was expected to go ahead shortly after agreement was reached between the warring parties, rebel sources confirmed on Thursday.

The Hezbollah media unit said earlier that reports of the implementation of an Aleppo ceasefire deal and evacuations from the city were not true, citing “big complications”.[L5N1E976S]

Fighting had raged yesterday, threatening the deal, with disagreement over who would be included in a parallel evacuation from two towns besieged by rebels. Iranian-backed militias had insisted that any Aleppo deal must also include the two Shi‘ite towns of Foua and Kefraya.

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; editing by Giles Elgood

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