By Adham Kako, Omer Koparan and Mohamed Misto
QUNEITRA, Syria / ANKARA, Turkey
Hundreds of people were evacuated Friday from Syria’s southwestern Quneitra province to opposition-held parts of Idlib, in line with an agreement between the Assad regime and armed opposition groups.
According to Anadolu Agency correspondents based in the area, a first convoy of evacuees has already set out from Quneitra to Idlib.
Under the terms of the agreement, a total of 1,500 people -- in 40 vehicles -- are expected to leave the southern province, which is located adjacent to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights region.
The agreement provides opposition fighters with safe exit to Idlib in exchange for surrendering their heavy weapons.
A similar deal was implemented recently in Syria’s southern Daraa province, according to which regime forces -- along with Russian military police -- were allowed to deploy along the nearby border with Jordan.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.