In Syria Evacuations from besieged zones

The evacuation of hundreds of rebels and their families from Harasta, a bombed-out town in Syria's Eastern Ghouta, follows a string of similar operations in the seven-year war.

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Syrian regime forces stand near buses waiting at the entrance of Harasta in Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, on March 22, 2018, after a deal with the rebels to evacuate the town play

Syrian regime forces stand near buses waiting at the entrance of Harasta in Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, on March 22, 2018, after a deal with the rebels to evacuate the town

(AFP)
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The evacuation of hundreds of rebels and their families from Harasta, a bombed-out town in Syria's Eastern Ghouta, follows a string of similar operations in the seven-year war.

The regime is pushing "reconciliation" deals -- the evacuation of fighters, generally towards the northwestern province of Idlib -- in exchange for lifting bombardments and sieges.

Amnesty International, in a November 2017 report entitled "We Leave or We Die", labelled such forced displacements crimes against humanity.

Here are some of the major evacuations:

2014 onwards: Homs

Syrian rebel fighters arrive at a regime checkpoint ahead of their evacuation from Waer, the last opposition-held district of Homs city, on May 21, 2017 play

Syrian rebel fighters arrive at a regime checkpoint ahead of their evacuation from Waer, the last opposition-held district of Homs city, on May 21, 2017

(AFP)

In May 2014, rebels leave their fiefdom in the Old City of Homs, previously known as the "capital of the revolution", after a two-year siege.

Bombardments and fighting have devastated the city's historic quarters.

This is the first regime-opposition deal to result in a rebel retreat since the war broke out in 2011.

Between March and May 2017, thousands of rebels and civilians leave Waer, the last rebel-held neighbourhood of Homs, allowing regime forces to fully retake control of Syria's third-largest city.

2016: Daraya, Moadimayet al-Sham

In August 2016 the last rebels evacuate their ex-stronghold Daraya, a town in Damascus province, following a deal with the regime after a brutal four-year government siege and incessant bombardment.

Syrian civilians originally from Daraya town are evacuated from the rebel-held town of Moadamiyet al-Sham on September 8, 2016, to be taken to a shelter in regime-held areas play

Syrian civilians originally from Daraya town are evacuated from the rebel-held town of Moadamiyet al-Sham on September 8, 2016, to be taken to a shelter in regime-held areas

(AFP)

The rebels and their families are taken to Idlib and the Syrian army retakes control of Daraya.

In September the army evacuates some 300 Daraya inhabitants from neighbouring rebel-held Moadimayet al-Sham, where they had taken refuge three years earlier.

UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, criticises the "strategy" of forced displacement of the population and warns "after Daraya we may have other Darayas".

2016: Aleppo

Following a suffocating siege and a blistering offensive with barrel bombs, rockets and shells, the Syrian army in December 2016 declares it is in full control of the country's second city, Aleppo.

Thousands of rebels and civilians are evacuated under a deal sponsored by Iran, Russia and Turkey.

2017: Wadi Barada

In January 2017 the army recaptures Wadi Barada, a flashpoint area that supplies water to Damascus, after rebels agree to withdraw in exchange for an end to a suffocating siege.

The regime, backed by Lebanon's pro-Iranian Shiite militia Hezbollah, had been trying to retake the area, just northwest of Damascus, since December 20, 2016.

The deal allows some 700 rebels and 1,400 civilians to leave Wadi Barada for Idlib province.

2017: Four towns

Syrian mourners attend a funeral near Damascus on April 26, 2017, for victims of a bombing that targeted buses carrying evacuees from the besieged government-held towns of Fuaa and Kafraya, killing at 126 people play

Syrian mourners attend a funeral near Damascus on April 26, 2017, for victims of a bombing that targeted buses carrying evacuees from the besieged government-held towns of Fuaa and Kafraya, killing at 126 people

(AFP)

In April 2017, under a deal sponsored by regime backer Iran and rebel supporter Qatar, nearly 11,000 fighters and civilians leave four besieged areas.

This multiple evacuation involves Fuaa and Kafraya, two Shiite areas in Idlib province that are surrounded by rebels. Meanwhile residents leave rebel-held Zabadani and Madaya, besieged by regime troops, which now move in to take control.

2017: Barzeh, Qabun, Tishrin

In May 2017, the regime retakes the rebel-held areas Barzeh, Qabun and Tishrin in Damascus. Several thousand civilians and fighters leave the capital, headed for jihadist-held Idlib province.

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