CAIRO – Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement and the Syrian rebel faction of Jaish al-Fatah have reached in the last hours a Qatar-brokered deal to evacuate several besieged towns in Syria, a British war monitor reported on Wednesday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the implementation of the agreement is expected to begin on April 4 in Madaya and Zabadani, located near Damascus, Fuaa and Kefraya in northern Syria, and Yarmouk refugee camp south of Damascus.
According to the pact, Fuaa and Kefraya will be completely evacuated within 60 days in two phases, in exchange for evacuating fighters and civilians from Zabadani and Madaya, as well as Yarmouk camp.
Fuaa and Kefraya are located in the province of Idlib and besieged by several Islamist and rebel factions, including Syria’s former al-Qaida affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front, while Madaya and Zabadani are besieged by Hezbollah and pro-government Syrian militias.
Yarmouk is also surrounded by forces loyal to the Syrian government.
Additionally, evacuees from Fuaa and Kefraya will head to government-held areas in Damascus, and the rebels and civilians leaving Madaya and Zabadani will go to Idlib and Jarabulus, north of Aleppo.
The pact also includes the withdrawal of 1,500 captives from the prisons of the regime and a nine-month truce in the four besieged towns.
In September 2015, a similar agreement was reached in these areas, which allowed some people to leave, but was not completed due to hostilities.