Syrian rebels agree to leave Homs' al-Waer district

Fighters from the Free Syrian Army cheer and react as they fight against the Islamic State (IS) group jihadists on the outskirts of the northern Syrian town of Dabiq. Photograph:( AFP )

Reuters Beirut Mar 13, 2017, 11.55 AM (IST)

Syrian rebels have agreed to leave the Homs district of al-Waer with their families over the next few weeks, opposition media said on Monday, with state media quoting the governor of Homs province as saying the same.

Opposition-affiliated Orient News reported that negotiators from al-Waer had signed an agreement for rebel factions and their families to go to northern Syria.

The Homs Media Centre, run by opposition activists in Homs, also said an agreement had been reached.

The deal completes an agreement reached in September between the government and the rebel groups in al-Waer, the last insurgent bastion in Homs, which has been pounded by air strikes in recent weeks.

All fighters and their families will leave in batches for northern Syria, Homs governor Talal Barazi was quoted as saying on state television and by news agencies.

Orient News said they would go to Jarablus, a city near the border with Turkey that is held by rebel groups fighting under the Free Syrian Army banner with backing from Turkish forces.

In September, Barazi said al-Waer was home to about 40,000 civilians and 800 fighters. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group monitoring the war, said there were more than 2,500 fighters there.


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