DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:00 P.M.) – At least 2000 people have left the last insurgent-held district in the central city of Homs as per an agreement held earlier with the Syrian government.
The batch – which includes some 150 militants – is the first of many to leave Al-Waer district in the coming weeks.
A Russian-brokered agreement has been reached last week between rebel forces and the Syrian government in which militants agreed to surrender their last stronghold, and eventually be evacuated to Homs northern countryside, Idlib and Jarabulus near the Turkish borders.
According to sources, some 20,000 people – including 300 militants – have shown desire to be relocated to one of the three agreed-upon areas. This number is expected to rise to 30,000 as the implementation of the agreement began; some 10,000 people chose to stay after having their status settled by the Syrian authorities.
In return, the siege imposed by the government forces will be immediately lifted, aid convoys will be also be granted an easy access into the district.