Air strikes, shelling hit Aleppo; evacuation stalls

Updated: Dec 15, 2016, 11:43 IST | Agencies |

TV station says delay may be until Thursday; win for Assad, but war not over

Protesters hold placards during a demonstration in solidarity with Aleppo residents, outside the entrance to Downing Street, in central London. Pic/AFPProtesters hold placards during a demonstration in solidarity with Aleppo residents, outside the entrance to Downing Street, in central London. Pic/AFP

Aleppo: The planned evacuation of rebel districts of Aleppo stalled yesterday as air strikes and shelling hit the city and Iran was said to have imposed conditions on the deal.

Iran, one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s main backers, wanted a simultaneous evacuation of the wounded from two villages, Foua and Kefraya, that are besieged by rebel fighters, according to rebel and UN sources.

Rebel groups said that was an excuse to hold up the evacuation from a shrunken insurgent enclave shattered by a powerful government offensive. A pro-opposition TV station said the operation could now be delayed until Thursday.

A ceasefire brokered on Tuesday by Russia and Turkey was intended to end years of fighting in the city, giving the Syrian leader his biggest victory in more than five years of war. But air strikes, shelling and gunfire erupted yesterday and Turkey accused government forces of breaking the truce.

Syrian state television said rebel shelling had killed six people.

'1,000 people held at Iran checkpoint'
Nearly 1,000 people from Aleppo evacuated overnight after a ceasefire deal are held at an Iranian militia checkpoint outside the city, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency quoted the head of the Turkish Red Crescent as saying. “These people had passed the Russian checkpoint,” Kerem Kinik told Anadolu. “But after leaving Aleppo, they were stopped at the second point where Iranian militia was present and still they are denied passage.”

6,000
No. of civilians leaving rebel-held districts over 24 hours

15,000
No. of people wanting to leave Aleppo, as per Hezbollah

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