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Syrian rebels agree to withdraw from Homs enclave under Russian-brokered deal Open in fullscreen

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Syrian rebels agree to withdraw from Homs enclave under Russian-brokered deal

The rebel enclave in Homs province is the most populous area still under siege. [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 May, 2018

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A rebel official said the Russian-brokered deal would see the regime take control of the enclave in Homs province, with rebels handing over their heavy weapons.

Syrian rebels near Homs agreed a deal on Wednesday to withdraw from their enclave as the Syrian regime continues to bombard the last two besieged opposition areas in the country.

A rebel official said the Russian-brokered deal would see the regime take control of the enclave in Homs province, with rebels handing over their heavy weapons.

Fighters and civilians who refuse to abide by the deal will be taken to opposition territory in the north near the Turkish border in an evacuation expected to start on Saturday, the official added.

There was no immediate comment from Syria or Russia, although regime news agency SANA had said late on Tuesday that a preliminary deal was reached with similar terms.

The rebel enclave in Homs province is the most populous area still under siege in Syria and has seen heavy fighting and regime bombardments in recent days.

An agreement was reached on Sunday between the Syrian regime and several rebel factions to evacuate the last three rebel-held suburbs around Damascus.

A Syrian regime official said last week that the enclave north of Homs city was the army's next target after retaking all rebel-held territory around the capital.

Regime military offensives and local agreements have helped Damascus regain control of swathes of the country, with support from Russia and Iran.

More than 350,000 people have been killed since the uprising against Assad broke out in 2011 and millions have been displaced.

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