Battle of Aleppo: Rebel evacuation will start soon

Damascus, Dec 15 (IANS) The evacuation of rebels remaining in the Syrian city of Aleppo will start soon, the Syrian army said on Thursday.

Following intense negotiations, a ceasefire returned in place for the evacuation of the rebels from the few areas they were still holding in the eastern part of Aleppo city, Xinhua reported, adding that the evacuation will start within hours.

Preparations were going on for the evacuation of the rebels from eastern Aleppo towards the town of Khan Tuman, southwest of Aleppo.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the first convoy of wounded people started leaving eastern Aleppo towards the government-controlled area west of the city.

The London-based watchdog group noted that the rebel convoys had not started leaving yet.

The rebel evacuation from the few areas under their control in eastern Aleppo comes as a result of a Turkish-Russian deal, which was supposed to begin on Wednesday, but was delayed and shooting resumed for undeclared reasons, before Thursday morning, as the deal seemed in place again.