01:12 GMT +315 December 2019
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    A Syrian national flag waves as vehicles move slowly in a traffic jam during rush hours on a road in Damascus , Syria (File)

    Militants Given Safe Passage by Syrian Government Exit Damascus Suburbs

    © AP Photo / Hassan Ammar
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    A column of 60 buses left the city of Zabadani in the suburbs of Damascus as part of the process of removing militants and their families from the towns near the Syrian capital.

    Over 2,350 militants together with their families have been taken out of the city, along with other civilians in the nearby besieged cities of Fu’ah and Kafriya in northern Syria, the Military Information Center of Government Forces of Syria reported.

    The Syrian army through mediators reached an agreement with the leaders of a number of armed groups, after which militants in the towns of Zabadani and Madaya were given buses and a safe way to be taken to Idlib.

    According to the terms of the agreement, the militants cleared the road for the evacuation of several thousand residents of Shiite settlements, in order to be delivered to Aleppo.

    “Today, at 7 o'clock in the morning a column of 60 buses with 2,350 people left from Zabadani within the framework of an agreement between the Syrian leadership and armed groups,” the military information center reported.

    It further stated that 75 buses and 20 ambulances carrying 5,000 people left Fu’ah and Kafriya and were sent to the west side of Aleppo.

    According to al-Mayadin channel, the first eight buses arriving from Fu’ah and Kafriya are already in the Syrian army controlled territory in Rashidin block in Aleppo.

    The settlements of Fu’ah and Kafriya have been surrounded by militants for more than three years.

    There are some 20,000 people living under siege. According to some reports, many civilians have died from starvation.

    At least 2,000 people have died at the hands of the terrorists, among them 400 children.

    The terrorists stormed the cities of Kafriya and Fu’ah back in 2012. There were attempts to break the defense line using mines. Following the assault, several thousand militants went in to attack. The assault was repelled with the help of the Syrian Air Force.

    The defenders of the city managed to protect their homes and save the lives of their fellow citizens. Since then, they have been living under a blockade.

    Earlier it was reported that the medication in the city has run out. Even the most basic medication is not available for people to clean their cuts and wounds, which leads to infections and healthy people die because of minor infections,`which get out of hand.

    The children eat just once a day and there are no fruits, vegetables or baby food available for the besieged civilians. The food consists of rice and grains which are periodically thrown down from airplanes. There is also a severe shortage of clean drinking water.

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    Tags:
    passage, agreement, civilians, siege, evacuation, militants, Syrian Army, Damascus, Syria
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