Syria war: Rebels leave last major besieged enclave

Syrian rebels have begun withdrawing from the last big, besieged enclave that they held in the war-torn country.

Hundreds of fighters have been boarding buses along with their families in a pocket of territory lying in central Syria, between Homs and Hama.

Under a deal with the government’s Russian allies, the militants have been given safe passage to opposition-controlled territory in northern Syria.

It is the latest rebel enclave to give in after a long siege.

The only significant areas of Syria still in rebel hands lie along its borders in the far north and the far south.

How was the evacuation agreed?

Terms were hammered out at marathon talks between Free Syria Army factions and Russian generals in the Homs countryside on Wednesday, Reuters news agency reports.

Rebel heavy weapons are being surrendered but rebel fighters are being allowed to leave with light arms, on buses going to rebel-controlled Idlib province in the north-east.

Russian military police are meant to guard the buses and protect the mainly Sunni Muslim civilians who remain in the former enclave from sectarian revenge attacks by Alawites living nearby.

Image caption Rebel fighters are being allowed to take their guns

The enclave,…

Continue Reading This Article At BBC News

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