Nearly 5,000 people to evacuate besieged Damascus’ town under fresh deal


DAMASCUS,  (Xinhua) — Nearly 5,000 people, including armed rebels, are set to evacuate the besieged town of Daraya west of the capital Damascus on Friday, after a deal concluded recently between the opposition forces and the Syrian army, local media said Thursday.

Over 4,000 civilians will be evacuated to displacement shelters in government-controlled areas, while 700 rebels will hand over their heavy and medium weapons which will be transferred to the northwestern province of Idlib, a stronghold for the rebels’ Jaish al-Fateh, or the Army of Conquest, state news agency SANA reported.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor group said the deal came after four years of insurgency in Daraya.

According to the deal, the Observatory said, the rebels who don’t want to evacuate can stay inside the town, after settling their criminal records with the government.

The civilians who want to stay will be provided with medical aid.

Meanwhile, a source familiar with the situation said calm prevails the town after concluding the deal.

Daraya has been out of the government control since 2012 and was later laid under a tight siege by the Syrian government forces.

Editor: ZD