July 18, 2018 / 10:35 PM / a month ago

Evacuation of pro-Assad villages under way in northwest: monitor, source

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The evacuation of thousands of people from two pro-Syrian government villages in the northwest got under way overnight, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and a commander in the regional alliance that backs Damascus said.

The villages of al-Foua and Kefraya in Idlib province have been besieged for years by rebel fighters. They are being evacuated as part of a mediated deal between insurgents and the government that includes a release of prisoners held by the government, sources on both sides have said.

Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by James Dalgleish

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