- Title: Evacuated opposition fighters, families head north for Idlib
- Date: 2nd December 2016
- Summary: QALAAT AL-MADIQ, NORTHWEST OF HAMA, SYRIA (DECEMBER 2, 2016) (VIDEO OBTAINED BY REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) SYRIAN ARAB RED CRESCENT CARS AND THE OPPOSITION FIGHTERS' BUSES ARRIVING RED CRESCENT AMBULANCES RED CRESCENT FLAG RED CRESCENT WORKERS VARIOUS OF RED CRESCENT WORKERS MOVING INJURED MEN INTO AMBULANCES OPPOSITION FIGHTERS' BUSES ARRIVING VARIOUS OF OPPOSITION FIGHTERS AND FAMILIES FROM WESTERN GHOUTA VILLAGES WAITING FOR BUSES (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) OPPOSITION FIGHTER, AHMAD, SAYING: "None of us wanted to leave. We left everything there, we left our martyrs. We suffered on the way, for two nights we suffered, sleeping on the buses." RED CRESCENT WORKERS NEAR AMBULANCE INSIDE AMBULANCE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) VOLUNTEER FROM MOLAHM TEAM, ONE OF THE CHARITY GROUPS IN OPPOSITION AREAS, OMAR, SAYING: "We civil aid groups are having difficulties welcoming the displaced, our means are so poor it's embarrassing. Today we received 3,000 of our brothers from Khan Al Shih - 56 busloads and ambulances too - and we helped them as much as we were able." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE GATHERING NEAR BUSES
- Embargoed: 17th December 2016 10:48
- Keywords: Syria Hama Red Crescent families opposition Idlib
- Location: QALAAT AL-MADIQ, NORTHWEST OF HAMA, SYRIA
- City: QALAAT AL-MADIQ, NORTHWEST OF HAMA, SYRIA
- Country: Syria
- Reuters ID: LVA0015B6YKW7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A group of Syrian opposition fighters and their families arrived in Qalaat al-Madiq near Hama early on Friday (December 2) on their way toward rebel-held Idlib province.
Hundreds of people left the besieged town of Khan al-Shih southwest of Damascus on Monday (November 28) under a deal with the Syrian government for safe passage to other rebel-held areas, a monitoring group said.
Local sources in Khan al-Shih told Reuters earlier that 3,000 people, half of them fighters, were expected to evacuate the suburb.
The group arrived at 6 a.m. on Friday before heading north. The Red Crescent ambulance service were seen on site attending to the injured.
The Syrian government, helped by Russian air power and Iran-backed militias, has steadily quashed armed opposition to its rule in the remaining pockets of resistance around the capital using a series of army offensives and evacuation agreements.
Damascus describes the deals as reconciliation or settlement agreements, but rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad say they involve the forcible displacement of whole communities from opposition areas after years of siege and bombardment.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the civil war, said 10 buses had left Khan al-Shih for Idlib province, but that it was unclear if they were carrying the fighters or just their families.
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