Deal struck for rebels, civilians to quit Syria's Daraya

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A  truck of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent carrying food and other supplies, enters the besieged town of the rebel-held suburb of Daraya, southwest of Damascus. (Local Council of Daraya City via AP)
A truck of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent carrying food and other supplies, enters the besieged town of the rebel-held suburb of Daraya, southwest of Damascus. (Local Council of Daraya City via AP)

Damascus - Thousands of rebel fighters and civilians are to evacuate the besieged town of Daraya near the Syrian capital under an accord struck on Thursday, state news agency SANA said.

"Seven hundred armed men with their personal weapons will leave Daraya to head to the [rebel-controlled] city of Idlib, while thousands of men and women with their families will be taken to reception centres," it said.

The rebels would have to surrender other armaments to the army.

A military source said that the army would enter Daraya, which has been under a regime siege for the past four years, after the evacuation from the rebel-held town.

A rebel official in the town said the evacuation would take place on Friday.

"The civilians will go to regions under regime control around Damascus, rebels will go to Idlib "or sort out their situation with the regime", he said.

A convoy of trucks carrying food reached Daraya in June, delivering supplies to civilians for the first time since government forces laid siege to the town in late 2012.

Daraya was one of the first towns in Syria to erupt in anti-government protests. It is located just a 15-minute drive from central Damascus and is even closer to the regime's Mazzeh air base.

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