Evacuation of Syrian villages resumes after 2 days

Damascus, April 21 (IANS) The evacuation of three villages in Syria resumed on Friday after two days of blockade, a British war monitor said.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), 10 buses carrying people from Foah and Kefraya arrived in Aleppo city, as a preliminary step to the transfer to Jibrin camp, Efe news reported.

These vehicles are part of a convoy in which 3,000 people are travelling, including 700 militiamen loyal to the Damascus government.

In addition, the SOHR said that 11 buses coming from Zabadani, with 300 people on board, mostly opposition fighters, reached the point of exchange between the two factions in the al-Rashidin area in the outskirts of Aleppo.

The SOHR added that the convoy hoped to continue its journey in the direction of the province of Idlib, controlled mainly by insurgent and Islamic groups.

These evacuations are part of an agreement – sponsored by Qatar – reached in March between Iran and Hezbollah, and the Islamist Jaish al-Fatah, and it also includes an exchange of prisoners.

According to the SOHR, the evacuation was stopped due to the fact that the authorities had not released 750 detainees, including women, from Idlib.

The NGO said it was still unknown whether these prisoners have been released or not.

–IANS

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