The evacuation of fighters and civilians from the Shia villages of Kafraya and al-Fua, in Syria’s north-western Idlib province, began on Thursday. The two settlements have been under siege from Sunni militants for years.
Images show the evacuation convoys meeting at an assembly point in the city of Saraqib en route to Al-Eis corridor in Aleppo province.
Red Crescent ambulances took the sick and those in critical condition out of the village first. Afterwards, soldiers can be seen handing in their weapons as they and their families prepared for evacuation.
The Syrian government news agency SANA said “121 buses and tens of ambulances” participated in the evacuation, as it travelled through militant-held territory on its way to safety in Aleppo province. The two villages were emptied in three batches.
The operation was part of a deal struck between the government and opposition forces.
Video credit: Ruptly