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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Evacuation of Combatants, Civilians Resumes in Syria

CAIRO - The evacuation of combatants and civilians from northern Syria and areas near Damascus resumed on Wednesday after an attack on a convoy of evacuees in which more than a hundred people died, according to a British war monitor.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 45 buses with 3,000 people, including 700 pro-government fighters, left the towns of Kefraya and Foah, besieged by former al-Qaida affiliate Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, among other Islamist factions.

The convoy of vehicles was headed to the city of Aleppo, under the control of the Syrian Army.

Meanwhile, 11 buses with 158 people, mostly civilians, left areas northwest of Damascus, 60 others left the eastern hills of the town of al-Zabadani, and 100 militiamen left Sargaya area, heading to the province of Idlib, dominated almost completely by the rebels.

SOHR said this marked a new stage of the agreement reached in Mar. between the authorities and rebel groups for the evacuation of the besieged towns of Foah, Kefraya, Madaya and al-Zabadani, as well as zones on the outskirts of Damascus.

The first evacuations were carried out last weekend, but were disrupted after at least 126 people from Kefraya and Foah were killed on Saturday in an attack on buses in the area of al-Rashidin, on the outskirts of Aleppo.

That attack has not been claimed by any group.

These evacuations are part of the Syrian government's strategy to achieve what it calls national reconciliation processes.

These processes are, in practice, surrender agreements that are applied in besieged areas and reached after negotiations between local authorities and rebel groups.

 

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