Syria rebels leave last Homs district following rare ceasefire deal

"Baghdad" On the road to Palmyra, Syria. Homs

Hundreds of Syrians, including rebels, leave last opposition-held area of Homs under ceasefire deal with the regime.

Hundreds of Syrians, including rebel fighters, have left the last rebel-held area of Homs as part of a rare local ceasefire deal negotiated between the opposition and the government.

The fighters and their families were being moved to rebel-held areas of the northwest near the Turkish border on Wednesday.

Several buses left the al-Waer district early on Wednesday and others were queuing up to leave on its outskirts, witnesses said.

The city’s governor Talal al-Barazi told reporters that 300 fighters who refused to be part of the negotiations were on board, together with 400 members of their families. The fighters took light weapons with them, he said.

The evacuation of fighters and their families was the first phase of the agreement, they will head to opposition-controlled areas further north

The ceasefire agreement includes evacuating the district from rebels -whose number is about 3000- on stages with there light weapons, in return for the government lifting its siege of the district and ending military operations there  while UN and relief organisations can enter the district. Government police – but not troops – will then reenter the area.

The Waer’s ceasefire comes after one year and a half after the old city’s agreement, and with it Homs city will be a “rebels free city“.