December 15, 2016 / 6:57 AM / 8 months ago

Syrian rebel group say Aleppo deal came after overcoming Iran attempt to disrupt it

AMMAN (Reuters) - The powerful Syrian rebel group Ahrar al Sham said on Thursday an agreement to evacuate civilians and rebels from Aleppo came after negotiators overcame what they said was obstruction by Iran and its militias to prevent the deal.

"There were Iranian efforts to exploit the situation in Aleppo and prevent any evacuation of our people from besieged Aleppo but in the end a deal was reached despite the Iranian intransigence," Ahmad Qura Ali, the spokesman for the group, told Reuters.

Syrian rebels say Turkey has played a main role in getting Russia to exert pressure on Damascus to abide by the deal after it was delayed on Wednesday and they blamed a surge in shelling on Wednesday on Iranian-backed militias.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Russian leader Valdimir Putin agreed in a phone call on Wednesday to revive the deal.

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Robeert Birsel

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