More than 30000 evacuated from Syria's Homs

More than 30000 evacuated from Syria's Homs

The withdrawal may also be the last in a series of agreed evacuations used by the government to defeat the Takfiri insurgents by forcing them to surrender territory in return for safe passage to opposition areas in the north.

A small pocket in southern Homs province, near the border with Iraq, is controlled by USA -backed rebels.

The armed factions, which the government systematically refers to as "terrorists", were transferred to Idlib province, which still largely escapes regime control.

Since March, around 200,000 people were forced to relocate to other parts of the country as part of surrender deals after crippling sieges and bombardment by government forces, according to the United Nations, which says the practice amounts to forced displacement.

"As of today, there is not one gunman left, no weapons left in the whole of Homs province", said Talal Barazai, the province's governor.

Pockets of extremist militants from the Daesh terrorist group are however still thought to be active on the province's scarcely-populated far eastern edge.

He highlighted in particular that the notorious military successes and the evacuation of the radicals of both territories allow the reopening of the Homs-Hama worldwide highway, which links south Syria with the center and north of this Arab territory.

The Syrian government, backed by Russian warplanes, has managed to liberate swathes of territory it lost following the outbreak of the crisis from the control of the terrorists.

Syrian people walk near buses as a convoy carrying opposition fighters and their families from rebel held areas south of Damascus arrived near al-Bab.

The last besieged rebel area, being fully evacuated on Wednesday, is the large enclave located between the cities of Hama and Homs around the towns of Rastan, Talbiseh and Houleh.

More than half of Syria 20-million-plus pre-war population has been displaced by the seven-year-old conflict, which the observatory says has killed more than 350,000 people.

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