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2,538 people leave Syria's Al-Waer to Jarabulus

Family members of the Syrian opposition seen during an evacuation from the al-Waer neighbourhood, in the western outskirts of the central city of Homs, Syria on March 18, 2017. [Stringer / Anadolu Agency]
Family members of the Syrian opposition seen during an evacuation from the al-Waer neighbourhood, in the western outskirts of the central city of Homs, Syria on March 18, 2017. [Stringer / Anadolu Agency]

A fourth group of opposition fighters and civilians have left the Al-Waer district of Syria's western Homs province amid repeated ceasefire violations by the Assad regime and allies.

Some 2,538 people aboard 55 buses left the district to the Zogora refugee camp in Aleppo's town of Jarabulus, which was captured from the Daesh terrorist group last summer by the Turkey-led Operation Euphrates Shield, according to Anadolu Agency reporters in the area.

The fresh group of evacuees included 733 women, 871 children, 55 patients and 12 injured people.

The convoy was accompanied by two trucks carrying the evacuees' belongings and 12 ambulances of the Syrian Red Crescent.

The evacuation was conducted under a Russia-backed deal struck between the Syrian opposition and regime with a view to transferring opposition fighters to Idlib or to other opposition-held areas near Aleppo city.

For years, the Al-Waer district has remained under a siege imposed by the regime. More than 20,000 people have applied to leave the district under the deal, which was concluded on March 13.

Under the agreement's terms, at least 12,000 people will be transferred to Aleppo province; 6,200 to Idlib; and 2,400 to Homs.

So far, about 8,500 people have been evacuated from Al-Waer district. Some 6,500 others are planned to leave the district soon.

The Assad regime and Russian forces will assume responsibility for the safety of those evacuated from Al-Waer. A Russian military contingent will also be deployed in the district to supervise implementation of the agreement.

The Turkish Red Crescent and other Turkish aid agencies, meanwhile, will be responsible for evacuees' safety in Aleppo and Idlib.

Since Syria's civil war erupted in 2011, more than 250,000 people have been killed and millions displaced, according to UN figures.

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