Eastern Ghouta in Syria: Rebels evacuated in government-owned buses

Buses to transfer eastern Ghouta rebels to other areas in Syria [Photo: Internet]

Syrian rebels and their families are being evacuated from a key town in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region as part of an agreement with the government.

Buses carrying 1,480 people, including 600 Ahrar al-Sham rebels, drove out of Harasta as night fell, en route to the rebel-held northern province of Idlib, according to BBC.

A military source said hundreds more were expected to follow on Friday.

The evacuation deal is the first agreed since the offensive on the Eastern Ghouta was stepped up a month ago.

A monitoring group says the air and ground assault has killed 1,500 civilians, injured 5,300 others, and forced 82,000 to flee in recent days, BBC added.

Government soldiers and allied militiamen have driven rebel forces out of about 70% of the region, cutting it into three pockets – one of them around Harasta, BBC also added.

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