Two buses evacuating Syrian rebel fighters from Homs left the besieged center of the city on Wednesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group and regional television channel Al-Mayadeen reported.

At the same time, rebels in the north of the country opened the road to two Shi'ite towns they have besieged to allow aid to be brought in, they said.

The operations were part of a deal between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, which have surrounded rebels in Homs city for more than a year. The deal will end any rebel presence in the heart of a city once called the "capital of the revolution" against Assad.

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