Several hundred fighters and civilians were being evacuated Monday from three Syrian towns under a deal brokered by the United Nations, rebel sources reportedly said. Buses and ambulances ferried rebel fighters from besieged towns to the Turkish and Lebanese border.
At least 130, mostly wounded, rebel fighters reportedly left the border town of Zabadani for the Lebanese border at the same time as about 350 fighters and civilians from Fuaa and Kefraya, two Shiite towns in northwestern Syria. Those evacuated from Fuaa and Kefraya will travel to Turkey via the Syrian-Turkish border post of al-Hawa before flying to Beirut and then travel by road to Damascus, according to reports citing the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Those leaving Zabadani will travel across the border to Lebanon and fly from Beirut to Turkey, before travelling back to opposition-held areas in Syria, Rami Abdelrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the ongoing conflict in Syria, said, according to Agence France-Presse.
More than 250,000 people have died in Syria since the beginning of the civil war nearly 5 years ago. The U.N. and foreign governments have tried to put in place local ceasefires and safe-passage agreements as steps toward ending the conflict.