Aleppo slaughterhouse ends as rebels agree on evacuation deal

Smoke rises after rebel fighters launch a mortar shell on residential neighborhood in west Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. The government seized large swaths of the Aleppo enclave under rebel control since 2012 in the offensive that began last week. The fighting was most intense Monday near the dividing line between east and west Aleppo as government and allied troops push their way from the eastern flank, reaching within less than a kilometer (half a mile) from the citadel that anchors the center of the city.(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

BBC – Military action has ended in eastern Aleppo, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, has said.

He said Syrian government troops had re-established control over the last areas of the city held by rebels.

He said an arrangement had been made for rebel fighters to leave. The rebels confirmed the deal, but said civilians would also be allowed to leave.

The latest developments could bring to an end more than four years of vicious fighting in which thousands have died.

Reporters on the ground said there had been no bombardments or fighting in recent hours.

The rebels had been squeezed into ever smaller areas of the city in recent months in a major government offensive backed by Russian air power.

Word of the deal came as the UN reported summary killings by pro-government forces.

It said it had reliable evidence that in four areas 82 civilians were killed, adding that many more may have died.

The UN and the US said the Syrian government and its allies Russia and Iran were accountable for any atrocities committed in the city. Russia said the allegations were untrue.

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