Syria crisis: Rebels 'leave Homs' under truce

Wednesday, 09 December 2015 - 13:03


Syrian rebels have begun evacuating the last area they hold in the city of Homs under a ceasefire deal reached with the government, a monitoring group has said.

The deal means the entire city returns to government control.

Those leaving are due go to areas of Idlib province still in rebel hands.

Homs, in central Syria, was once dubbed the "capital of the revolution" and saw some of the first protests against President Bashar al-Assad, in 2011.

The first bus has left the rebel-held area of Al Waer in Homs, foreign media reports.

About 800 people, including rebel fighters and civilians are due to leave throughout Wednesday.

Under the UN-backed ceasefire, food aid has reached the neighbourhood for the first time in nearly a year.

Anti-government protests erupted in Homs, Syria's third-largest city, in 2011.

Soon, thousands of Homs residents were taking part in demonstrations despite a brutal crackdown by security forces and pro-Assad militiamen that left dozens dead.

But in 2012 the Syrian military began a major operation to retake the city, bombarding rebel-held areas.

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