Hopes raised that evacuation could soon resume in Aleppo

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) hopes to resume the evacuation of civilians and wounded people from the Syrian enclave of east Aleppo on Sunday, a spokeswoman has said, informs The Guardian.

Thousands of people are left in Aleppo, some sleeping on the streets in freezing temperatures, after the evacuation of the rebel-held areas ground to a halt on Friday following a disagreement with pro-government forces.

They were demanding the evacuation of two villages besieged by Islamist rebels. Rebels and a government official have said a new deal that was being negotiated on Saturday to complete the evacuation of rebel-held areas of east Aleppo would involve people leaving the two villages and two other besieged towns, Madaya and Zabadani, near the Lebanese border.

“We are getting ready to resume the evacuation of people from eastern Aleppo, hopefully this morning,” the ICRC spokeswoman Elodie Schindler told Reuters in Geneva.

Syrian state television reported on Sunday a deal between the government and rebels to evacuate people from east Aleppo in return for the evacuation of people from al-Foua and Kefraya, the two villages besieged by Islamists.

According to al-Ikhbariya TV news, about 1,200 civilians would initially be evacuated from east Aleppo and a similar number from the two villages. Once evacuees from the villages have safely arrived in government areas, Aleppo fighters and more of their family members will be allowed to leave in return for other batches of people departing al-Foua and Kefraya.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor earlier said the rebel group formerly known as the Nusra Front had been preventing evacuation buses from entering the two besieged villages.

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