Syrian Rebels Say Cease-fire Reached to Evacuate Aleppo After Reports of Mass Slayings

BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. There was no immediate comment from Damascus or Moscow on the agreement, which would effectively cede the remainder of Syria's largest city to President Bashar Assad's forces after months of heavy fighting and a crippling siege. Osama Abu Zayd, a Turkey-based legal adviser for an umbrella group of rebel factions known as the Free Syrian Army, said the cease-fire went into effect Tuesday evening and that the first batch will begin evacuating within hours. Yasser al-Youssef, a spokesman for the Nour el-Din el-Zinki rebel group, confirmed the cease-fire and said the goal is to evacuate civilians and rebels from besieged areas.It was not immediately clear whether the hostilities had ceased in Aleppo. The opposition-run Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said shelling was continuing.  Continue reading...

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