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Aleppo hit by air strikes, shelling as evacuation stalls

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 00:46

Video purports to show air strikes and heavy shelling hitting the Syrian city of Aleppo as the planned evacuation of rebel districts in the city stalls. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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NATURAL ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: The planned evacuation of rebel districts of Aleppo stalled on Wednesday as air strikes and heavy shelling hit the city and Iran was said to have imposed new conditions on the deal. Iran, one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main backers in the battle that has all but ended four years of rebel resistance in the city, wanted a simultaneous evacuation of wounded from two villages, Foua and Kefraya, that are besieged by rebel fighters, according to rebel and U.N. sources. Rebel groups said that was just an excuse to hold up the evacuation from a shrunken insurgent enclave shattered by a powerful government offensive. A pro-opposition TV station said the operation could now be delayed until Thursday. A ceasefire brokered on Tuesday by Russia, Assad's most powerful ally, and Turkey was intended to end years of fighting in the city, giving the Syrian leader his biggest victory in more than five years of war. But air strikes, shelling and gunfire erupted on Wednesday and Turkey accused government forces of breaking the truce. Syrian state television said rebel shelling had killed six people. Officials in the military alliance backing Assad could not be reached immediately for comment on why the evacuation, expected to start in the early hours of Wednesday, had stalled. Nobody had left by dawn under the plan, according to a Reuters witness waiting at the departure point, where 20 buses stood with engines running but showed no sign of moving into rebel districts.

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Aleppo hit by air strikes, shelling as evacuation stalls

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 00:46