By Adham Kako, Halit Suleyman
The first batch of opposition fighters and civilians who were evacuated from the Syrian city of Homs arrived in Azaz city in Aleppo's northern countryside in northern Syria.
A convoy of 32 buses carrying 1,354 evacuees from Waer, the last opposition-held district in Homs, arrived in al-Bab town early Sunday and were transferred to Shamareq camp in Azaz, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent.
The evacuees included 519 children, 412 women and 423 men.
The evacuation was conducted under a Russian-backed deal between the opposition and the Syrian regime to transfer the opposition fighters to Idlib or opposition-held districts in Aleppo's northern countryside.
Waer district has been under a siege by Assad regime forces for four years.
More than 20,000 people have applied to leave the district under the deal, which was concluded on March 13.
At least 12,000 people will be transferred to Aleppo province, 6,200 to Idlib and 2,400 will be relocated in Homs.
Under the deal, regime and Russian forces will be responsible for the safety of the evacuees from Waer district. A Russian military contingent will also be deployed in the district to supervise the implementation of the agreement.
The Turkish Red Crescent and other Turkish NGOs will be responsible for taking care of the evacuees in Aleppo's northern countryside and Idlib.
Since Syria's civil war erupted in 2011, more than 250,000 people have been killed, according to the UN. The Syrian Center for Policy Research puts the death toll at more than 470,000.
The war has also left nearly half of the population displaced. -