Syria evacuation
People from the two besieged Shi'ite towns of al-Foua and Kefraya gesture from inside a bus as they leave Beirut international airport December 29, 2015. A U.N. operation to evacuate around 450 Syrian fighters and their families from two besieged Syrian areas was completed on Monday with the arrival of planes carrying them to Beirut and Hatay airport in Turkey, U.N. and airport sources said.Reuters

For the first time in the four-year war, hundreds of rebels and their families were evacuated from three Syrian towns to two neighbouring countries on Monday as part of the United Nations' humanitarian agreement.

"We appreciate the cooperation of all sides, of the Syrian, Turkish, and Lebanese governments, and all the sides that have signed on to this humanitarian agreement," AFP quoted UN humanitarian coordinator Yaacoub El Hillo as saying.

With the help of relief workers, more than 400 people, including wounded rebels, were evacuated in buses, ambulances and flights to Lebanon and Turkey under a UN-backed truce deal.

At least 120 Sunni rebels and civilians were evacuated from Zabadani to Lebanon, while another 300 people were shifted from two Shia towns in northwestern province of Idlib in Syria to Turkey, according to a BBC report.

Under the UN's 'humanitarian agreement', humanitarian aid will be delivered to the towns, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

This UN-backed evacuation of the rebels can be seen as a move towards peace in war-torn Syria. More than 2,50,000 Syrians have been killed and nearly 11 million displaced in the four years of war in the middle eastern country.

On Monday, at least 30 people were killed and as many as 90 were injured in twin bomb blasts in Homs city in Syria.

The rebellion that started as a protest in March 2011 against the then government led by President Bashar al-Assad turned into a civil war by 2012. The war was between the rebels against Assad and the forces loyal to the president, according to another BBC report.

Also read
Quick Links