Other 3,000 people will be evacuated from Al-Fouaa and Kefraya towns to Al-Rashidin neighborhood in Aleppo during the day.
On Friday morning, a column of buses with residents of the Shiite towns of Al-Fouaa and Kefraya arrived to al-Rashidin neighborhood in Aleppo, located 360 kilometers of Damascus, the Al Manar TV-channel reported. Reportedly, over 5,000 people were evacuated from the two towns, besieged by militants.
It is expected that other 3,000 people will arrive to Al-Rashidin during the day. The evacuation from al-Fouaa and Kefraya towns is carried out alongside with withdrawal of militants from the Al-Zabadani and Madaya mountain resorts, located to the west of Damascus and captured by them. Reportedly, 60 buses departed from there in the morning. According to the agreement, reached between the government army and armed groups, 3,800 militants with their families will be withdrawn from the area near Damascus.
Al-Fouaa and Kefraya are defended by units of the National Defense Forces (NDF). Residents, who remain there, are in complete blockade. Foodstuffs, medicine and essential goods are delivered to the towns by helicopters.
The Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (previously known as the Al-Nusra Front) terrorist groups confront Syrian troops in Al-Zabadani and Madaya. The two towns remain the last strongholds of the armed opposition in the mountainous area near the border with Lebanon. They have been surrounded by the Syrian forces for more than two years.
The operation is conducted under the aegis of the Syrian Red Crescent Society and is accompanied by a pause in the hostilities. According to the Al Watan newspaper, about 8,200 inhabitants will leave Al-Fouaa and Kefraya at the second stage of the evacuation. T They will be accommodated in temporary refugee settlements in Homs and Latakia. At the same time, withdrawal of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militants from the southern suburbs of Damascus, Al-Hajar al-Aswad and Beit Saham, as well as from the Palestinian Yarmouk Camp, was started.