Saturday, August 19, 2017 | ePaper

Syria evacuations resume after deadly bombing

  • Print


Syrian civilians being evacuated from the government-held towns of Fuaa and Kafraya, which have been under crippling siege for more than two years, on buses near the rebel-held transit point of Rashidin on Wednesday.

AFP, Rashidin :
The evacuation of four besieged Syrian towns resumed Wednesday, with tight security in place for those leaving government-held areas after a weekend bombing against evacuees killed dozens including nearly 70 children.
A large convoy of buses set out from the government-held towns of Fuaa and Kafraya in Syria's Idlib province, carrying 3,000 people to the rebel-held transit point of Rashidin near Aleppo city, an AFP correspondent at the point said.
At the same time, 11 buses carrying around 300 people left rebel-held Zabadani, Serghaya and Jabal Sharqi in Damascus province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.
In Rashidin, security was tight after a devastating bomb attack on evacuees at the site on Saturday that according to the Observatory killed 126 people, including 68 children.
Most of the dead were evacuees from the two Shiite-majority towns, with a handful of aid workers and rebels guarding the convoy also among the dead.
Dozens of wounded were taken to hospitals in nearby rebel-held territory, while others were taken to Aleppo, which government forces regained full control of late last year.
Armed rebels were standing guard at Rashidin on Wednesday and carefully inspecting vehicles arriving in the area.
Buses were parked in a semi-circle, forming a makeshift barrier around an area in the centre of a lot where evacuees including dozens of children milled.
Pro-government militiamen among those being evacuated from Fuaa and Kafraya squatted next to one bus, smoking cigarettes.
Standing nearby, 55-year-old Um Joud from Fuaa said it was difficult to describe how she felt.
"I'm not afraid, because everything is in God's hands," she told AFP.
"Of course I would have preferred to stay in my home, but I left for the sake of my children and their lives and futures."
The evacuations are taking place under a deal between government and opposition representatives that is also seeing residents and rebels transported out from several areas under regime siege near Damascus, primarily Madaya and Zabadani.
It was brokered late last month by Qatar, a longtime opposition supporter, and Iran, a key regime ally, but its implementation had been repeatedly delayed.
When Wednesday's evacuations are complete, a total of 8,000 people should have left Fuaa and Kafraya, including pro-government fighters and civilians.

More News For this Category

Civilian deaths surge in Raqqa as IS tactics slow US-backed advances

Civilian deaths surge in Raqqa as IS tactics slow US-backed advances

VOA News :As U.S.-backed forces continue to make slow progress in their offensive to oust Islamic State (IS) from its self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa, thousands of civilians who are

6th Aussie politician declares duel nationality

6th Aussie politician declares duel nationality

Reuters, Canberra :Australia's widening citizenship crisis entangled a seventh politician on Friday, a key independent senator whose support is critical for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to pass legislation through

Spanish police shoot five suspects dead after terror attack kills 13 in Barcelona

Spanish police shoot five suspects dead after terror attack kills 13 in Barcelona

Reuters, Barcelona :Spain launched a sweeping anti-terrorism operation on Friday, shooting dead five would-be attackers after a suspected Islamist militant drove a van into crowds in Barcelona, killing 13

News In Brief

Paris police evacuate 2,000 migrantsAFP, Paris French police moved out around 2,000 migrants from a makeshift camp in an area north of Paris on Friday, the 35th evacuation operation

US, Japan to advance security, defence ties with India, South Korea and Australia

US, Japan to advance security, defence ties with India, South Korea and Australia

PTI, Washington :The US and Japan have agreed to advance their multilateral security and defence cooperation with India, South Korea and Australia in view of North Korea's dangerous provocative

First group of Qatari pilgrims enter Saudi Arabia by land

First group of Qatari pilgrims enter Saudi Arabia by land

Reuters, Dubai :Qatari pilgrims began arriving in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, Saudi media reported, after Riyadh said it was opening up its border and airports for those attending the

Flood marooned people in Indian states, eases in Nepal

Flood marooned people in Indian states, eases in Nepal

AP, Lucknow :Monsoon flooding is easing in Nepal, but the water flowing downriver has worsened floods in northern India and marooned thousands of villagers across the border, officials said

Assad's march east compounds West's Syria dilemma

Assad's march east compounds West's Syria dilemma

Reuters, Beirut :Syria's war has entered a new phase as President Bashar al-Assad extends his grip in areas being captured from Islamic State, using firepower freed by Russian-backed truces

China military criticises 'wrong' US moves on Taiwan, South China Sea

China military criticises 'wrong' US moves on Taiwan, South China Sea

Reuters, Beijing :The "wrong" actions of the United States on Taiwan, its South China Sea patrols and deployment of an advanced anti-missile system in South Korea have had a large,

News In Brief

Trump at Camp David for Afghanistan talksAFP, Washington US President Donald Trump will meet Friday with his national security team at Camp David, as he mulls whether or not