US and Russia have reportedly offered rebels in Aleppo the chance to exit the war-ravaged city before the Syrian army can retake the city. Three opposition officials told Reuters that rebel groups had been given a proposal that would allow them and their families to evacuate.

According to reports, the deal offers "secure" and "honourable" means for them to leave but has not been signed as yet as Russia has said that it was because the US' demands were unacceptable.

"What western agencies are reporting does not necessarily correspond with reality," Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Ryabkov said according to RIA news agency.

"The issue of withdrawing militants is the subject of separate agreements. This agreement has not yet been reached, largely because the United States insists on unacceptable terms."

If the proposal is signed, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will once again have complete control of rebel-held eastern Aleppo. Syrian armed forces have been making steady progress is retaking control of the Old City forcing thousands of civilians and rebels to flee.

The draft of the proposal, which was handed over to Reuters, stated that the government will offer public guarantee that fighters and civilians leaving the city will not be detained or harmed. Additionally, it would offer safety to civilians who wish to remain in the city.

Rebel officials claimed that the evacuation would take place over a 48-hour period and UN oversight would be sought for the same. Fighters will be allowed to take with them their light weapons, but all heavy arms and artillery has to be left behind.

Aleppo Old City
Residents fleeing the violence gather at a checkpoint, manned by pro-government forces, in the Maysaloun neighbourhood of Aleppo George Ourfalian/AFP