Amid Confusion, Aleppo Evacuation Deal Again in Place

Deal Renegotiated After Wednesday Fighting

The evacuation of rebels from their last strip of territory in Aleppo was to begin Wednesday morning, in a deal negotiated by Russia and Turkey. The evacuations didn’t happen, however, with troops and rebels fighting each other instead, and both sides blaming the other for the lack of calm.

While it’s not totally clear who started what, Iran sought to get the evacuation of wounded civilians from a pair of Shi’ite villages added to the deal after it was already finalized, and everyone started fighting again. Syrian airstrikes targeted the rebels, and rebel shells hit the evacuation route. Russia and Turkey urged immediate calm, and eventually got it.

The official reports are that Turkey and Russia have negotiated a revised deal now, which will see the evacuations begin on Thursday morning, and that will allow some medical evacuations from the villages. Already, however, some of the factions tangentially involved are denying that the deal is in place.

Rebel faction Ahrar al-Sham, one of Turkey’s main proxies, is claiming that the deal does not allow any civilians to leave the villages, while another rebel faction Noureddin al-Zinki is confirming that the villages can evacuate. Al-Qaeda, whose forces are surrounding the villages, hasn’t said anything either way.

Hezbollah, which reportedly sided with Iran on seeing the deal renegotiated to include the villages, denied that any deal was in place at all, claiming that there were still major obstacles in the way of coming to any final deal on the matter.

Western officials, for their part, mostly just railed at Russia over the matter, accusing them of “war crimes” over the evacuation deal not going through, even though they negotiated the evacuation deal in the first place and haven’t had military involvement in Aleppo since October.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Bianca

    It is amazing to see what happens when the powers used to have final word in everything find themselves completely out of having any say in the matter. Instead of being happy to have ofhers share the burden of sorting out the end of hostilities in Aleppo, all they can do is blame them for suceeding. In spite of inevitable problems — we have Russia, Syria, Turkey and Iran collaborating in the organization and transfer of the last of militants and their families out of the place they sere trapped in. France wanted “international suppervision” as if the presence of a Western country iis the only way to legitimately manage conflicts. Otherwise it is not legitimate and everywhich way horrible.

    In reality this is what happens when there are multiple groups involved inaming a decidion to leave, and there are nervous Syrian forces making sure the groups do not try a stunt — like shelling randomly at nearby areas. As for Al-Zinka, one of CIA funded ones — I would not let any one of them go alive. That is the group that recently beheaded a little boy. But being men as they are, they have their wives and children with them — a ticket to freedom. How many poor girls of Aleppo that were kidnapped into marriage now have to leave far from their home with the monsters they were forced to marry. This is Obama and Clinton legacy. Cowardice all around. Arming religious cults to topple regimes is cowardly. The religious zealots that force women under veil — like real cowards hide behind them to get out of punishment. And our brave and modern media never had the courage to interview Syrian first lady — to have to match her courage and intelligence! Why is our media so cowardly that they do not want to show any Syrian women out of fear that we will understand the depravity of our keaders that funded religious cults to take over s country full of empaciated women — Sunni, Shia or Christian? To see those in Armed forces? Or in the Syrian government forces,, in universities. Media never showed us women of Damascus, many quite westernized. Like their first lady, a Harvard educated investment banker. Our champion of women — Hillary Clinton – had no fear of God, when planning to have the women in Syria — today free to make choices in life — subjected to the cruelty of Islamic cults? And now that women of Syria can breathe a little easier, Obama administration and the entire lying media are in mourning over the demise of cruel monsters they call “opposition”.

    • TellTheTruth-2

      Thank you Bianca … EVERY American should listen to what President Putin said just before he sent Russian planes to Syria to crush ISIS. …. ‘Do you realize what you’ve done?’ Putin addresses United Nations 2015 (right click) …. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q13yzl6k6w0