(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
BEIRUT - Thousands of Syrians were stuck in and around Aleppo on Saturday as a deal to evacuate two Shi'ite villages in return for Sunni rebels and their families being allowed to leave two besieged towns near Damascus stalled, a monitor and activists said.
Rebels and civilians who had left Madaya near Damascus on Friday sat outside rows of coaches in government-held Aleppo city, waiting to move onto their final destination of insurgent-held Idlib, pictures sent by a pro-opposition activist showed.
Meanwhile residents and pro-government fighters who had left the two rebel-besieged Shi'ite villages in Idlib province waited still in insurgent territory on Aleppo's outskirts to cross into the city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The British-based Observatory said the delay was because rebel fighters from another town included in the deal, Zabadani near Damascus, had not yet been granted safe passage out.