An evacuation of rebel-held districts of Aleppo is back on track and expected to begin within hours, officials on both sides of the war said late on Wednesday, a retreat that would mark a major victory for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and end years of fighting.
An initial deal that would have seen thousands of civilians and opposition fighters granted safe passage out of the city stalled on Wednesday and the planned exodus failed to materialize.
Abdul Salam Abdul Razak, a military spokesman for the Nour al-Din al Zinki rebel group, said late on Wednesday that a new agreement had been reached which included those villages in Idlib province. "Within the coming hours its implementation will begin," he told Reuters.
An official in the pro-Damascus military alliance confirmed the truce deal was on, and said about 15,000 people would be evacuated from the majority Shi'ite villages, Foua and Kefraya, in return for the evacuation from Aleppo of "militants and their families and whoever wants to leave among civilians".