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Depopulation of last free Homs neighbourhood by Syria regime continues

Syrian civilians and opposition forces wait to be evacuated from Al-Waer district of Homs, Syria on 15 May 2017 [Judy Arash/Anadolu Agency ]
Syrian civilians and opposition forces wait to be evacuated from Al-Waer district of Homs, Syria on 15 May 2017 [Judy Arash/Anadolu Agency ]

Syrian civilians and opposition fighters began to leave the last opposition-held district of Homs city today under a deal that will see dictator President Bashar Al-Assad's regime take back the area once they have depopulated it of anti-Assad elements, a Reuters witness, a monitor and state media said.

At least one bus carrying families of civilians and some fighters left the Al-Waer district earlier, and dozens more were expected to follow, bringing some 2,500 people out of the neighbourhood long besieged by government forces and their allies.

The evacuation and depopulation of Al-Waer district is one of the largest of its kind, after a series of similar deals in recent months brought many areas of western Syria long held by the opposition and besieged by government and allied forces back under the Assad regime's control.

The Al-Waer agreement began to be implemented in March. By the time it is completed, up to 20,000 people will have left the district, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group says.

Many of the fighters are to head for insurgent-held Idlib province in Syria's northwest and to the town of Jarablus along the country's northern border with Turkey, pro-Damascus media reported.

Some are to stay in al-Waer and hand over their weapons.

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Middle EastNewsSyria
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