• Syria rebels to leave Aleppo under evacuation deal

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    ALEPPO, Syria: Civilians and rebel fighters were to start evacuating from Syria’s Aleppo on Wednesday under a deal that would end years of opposition resistance in the city. About 20 green government buses were gathered at the edges of the divided Salaheddin district. Some entered briefly on Tuesday night but returned empty and parked on the outskirts again, an Agence France-Presse journalist said. Rebel officials, Russia and Turkey confirmed the agreement which, if implemented, would mark a major victory for President Bashar al-Assad over opposition forces who rose up against him in 2011. The agreement came amid mounting global outrage over reports of atrocities, including dozens of summary executions, as forces loyal to Assad closed in on the last pocket of rebel territory in Aleppo. Officials from several rebel groups told AFP there was a deal to allow civilians and fighters to leave Aleppo for opposition-held territory to the west of the city. “An agreement has been reached,” said Yasser al-Youssef from the political office of the key Nureddin al-Zinki rebel group, adding it had been “sponsored” by Russia and Turkey.

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