Under UN deal, buses arrive to evacuate fighters and civilians from Syrian town

By REUTERS
December 28, 2015 10:24

 
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BEIRUT - Ambulances and buses entered the besieged rebel-held Syrian town of Zadabadi on Monday to ferry scores of the insurgents to Turkey under a deal brokered by the United Nations, rebel sources there said.

Under the deal, rebel fighters holed up for months in the town near the Lebanese border have been promised safe passage to Beirut airport, then on to Turkey.

At the same time, around 300 families in two besieged Shi'ite towns in the mainly rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib were due to head to the Turkish border, and then fly on to Beirut.

Relief workers and rebel fighters helped carry several young men in wheelchairs onto ambulances in a square in Zadabadi, one witness told Reuters.

Much of the town was devastated in a major offensive launched in July against the insurgents by the Syrian army and its allies from the Lebanese Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah.

The United Nations and foreign governments have tried to broker local cease-fires and safe-passage agreements as steps towards the wider goal of ending Syria's near five-year civil war.

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