Buses enter militant-besieged Shia towns in Syria's Idlib to evacuate civilians



Dozens of buses have arrived in Kefraya and al-Foua, both in Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province, as part of an evacuation deal to get locals out of the Shia-majority towns, which have long been besieged by foreign-backed militants.

Syrian state TV reported on Wednesday that 88 buses and several ambulances were ready to evacuate civilians from Kefraya and al-Foua, which have been encircled by terrorists since March 2015.

A pro-Damascus commander said a total of 6,300 people were expected to be evacuated from the area.

Militant sources said Iran had negotiated the deal with the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group, under which all residents would be evacuated from Kefraya and al-Foua.

“We now are working on the logistical arrangements,” said a source familiar with the negotiations.

The Syrian government usually seek to secure such evacuation deals with the militants to decrease civilian casualties in the wake of a military operation.


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