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Aleppo: Heavy Clashes, Airstrikes After Cease-fire Stalls

(REUTERS) – 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.

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