2,000 people evacuate rebel-held town in Syria

Damascus, Dec 3 (IANS) As many as 2,000 people evacuated the rebel-held suburb of Tal about 16 kms from here, as part of a deal between the Syrian government and the armed rebels, local media reports said.

Altogether 500 rebels and 1,500 civilians of their families were bussed out of Tal toward the rebel-held city of Idlib in northern Syria on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The deal for the evacuation of rebels and their families is the latest in a string of several deals the government struck with the rebels around Damascus.

Previous deals for defusing the tension in the town of Tal has fallen short to hold up as both the government forces and the rebels ended up in another wave of battles.

Tal was deemed as one of the key strongholds for the rebels in northern Damascus, as it links the rebel-held areas in northern Damascus to eastern Ghouta area.

The recapture of Tal comes days after a similar deal has seen the evacuation of 3,000 rebels and their families from the southern town of Khan al-Shieh, another key rebel stronghold south of Damascus.

The government calls such instances as settlement, while the opposition accuses the government of laying tough sieges as well as heavily shelling those areas to force the rebels to leave.

–IANS

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