World, Middle East

Evacuations begin from Syria’s Quneitra province

Evacuations carried out in line with deal struck earlier between Assad regime, armed opposition groups

Evacuations begin from Syria’s Quneitra province File photo

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.

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