Middle East

Syria militants began withdrawing from Old City of Homs

Syria militantsThe foreign-backed militants operating in Syria’s Old City of Homs began withdrawing from the area.

The militants are leaving the old city under an agreement reached on Sunday between the Syrian government and the militants.

Under the agreement, some 2,250 people, mostly militants, evacuate the flashpoint city and move to militant-held areas in the north of Homs Province, which is located in the central western part of Syria.

Reports say that five busses arrived in the city early in the morning to take the militants out.

Homs governor Talal Barazi also confirmed that the militants have started leaving the old districts of Homs

The deal has been negotiated with Iran’s assistance and will be guaranteed by the United Nations and Iran. It would bring almost all major districts of the city under the control of government forces. As part of the deal, the militants will also free about 70 government soldiers.

The agreement is considered a major blow to the foreign-backed militants just ahead of Syria’s presidential election on June 3.

The Syrian government’s talks with the militants came as part of efforts to facilitate access to the people trapped in conflict zones.

On Saturday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called on governmental aid bodies to increase their cooperation with local and international aid organizations in providing humanitarian relief to the people.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. Reports say more than 150,000 people have so far been killed and millions displaced in the violence.


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