BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:50 P.M.) – The first batch of buses sent by the Syrian Government have arrived in besieged Madaya and Al-Zabadani, Damascus Now reported this afternoon.
The buses are prepared to transport more than 2,500 residents and militants from the besieged towns in rural Damascus to the Idlib Governorate, as part of the deal set forth by the Qatari and Iranian governments.
In exchange for the 2,500 residents of Madaya and Al-Zabadani, more than 1,500 civilians from besieged Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya will be transported from their villages to Damascus.
Once this exchange is made, the second phase of the agreement will reportedly begin with the release of rebels from the Syrian government’s prisons and the transportation of another 1,500 residents of Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya from jihadist-held territory.
The first phase of this agreement is expected to commence in the coming hours, a government source told Al-Masdar News.