Red Cross says it is in contact with parties involved in truce in 2 areas in Syria

A spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross says it is in contact with "parties" involved in a limited Syrian truce that will see the reciprocal transfer of thousands of Shiites and Sunnis from two battlegrounds.

Damascus-based Pawel Krzysiek says the ICRC is not taking part in the negotiations but will serve as a "neutral humanitarian intermediary."

His comments Saturday came after a U.N.-backed truce deal was reached to end months of fighting between Sunni insurgents and pro-government forces, including fighters from Lebanon's Hezbollah group, and the besieging of civilians.

The transfer will allow Sunni insurgents and their families' safe passage out of the central town of Zabadani in return for safe passage for Shiite civilians in two northern villages besieged by insurgents.