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Ceasefire in eastern Aleppo allows rebels, civilians to evacuate

After years of deadly fighting, a ceasefire agreement was reached Tuesday in the eastern districts of Aleppo, Syria, the site of some of the most devastating conflict of the country's civil war. The agreement was negotiated between Turkish and Russian officials, and both countries will "act as guarantors of the agreement," The Guardian reported. Syrian rebel fighters have agreed to withdraw from the city by Tuesday evening, thus returning control of the city to the Syrian government; Russia has also agreed to end its bombardment of Aleppo.

Civilians are reportedly included in the deal. The Wall Street Journal said "about 300 civilians, including some gravely wounded," will be evacuated Tuesday night. A senior Turkish official told The Guardian that "civilians and moderate rebels with light weapons" will be allowed to leave Aleppo for the Idlib province and relocate from there.

The agreement comes amid growing concern about the number of civilian deaths in the city, as an estimated 10,000 civilians fled eastern Aleppo over the weekend. However, the ceasefire does not necessarily signal the end of the road: "The crushing of Aleppo, the immeasurably terrifying toll on its people, the bloodshed, the wanton slaughter of men, women, and children, the destruction — and we are nowhere near the end of this cruel conflict," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in a statement.