Syrians stuck in and near Aleppo as evacuation deal halts

By REUTERS
April 15, 2017 15:45
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Thousands of Syrians were stuck in and around Aleppo on Saturday as a deal to evacuate people from two Shi'ite villages in return for Sunni rebels and their families leaving two towns near Damascus halted, a war monitor and activists said.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the problem was that rebels from Zabadani, one of the towns included in the deal, had not yet been granted safe passage out.

The agreement is one of several over recent months that has seen President Bashar al-Assad's government take back control of areas long besieged by his forces and their allies.

In the latest deal, hundreds of rebels and their families left the town of Madaya near Damascus, and were taken on buses to the government-held city of Aleppo. From there they will travel to Idlib province, an insurgent stronghold.

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