This is the third of four planned cease-fires reached in recent months under an agreement brokered by Russia, Iran, and Turkey
This Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017 photo released by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, shows al-Qaida-linked militants seated in a bus with their families, after being evacuated from the town of Arsal, near the Syrian border, in northeast Lebanon. A large convoy from Lebanon carrying thousands of refugees and al-Qaida-linked militants began arriving at a transfer point in the western Syrian Hama province to complete their journey to the rebel-held Idlib province in northwest Syria. (Syrian Central Military Media via AP), photo: Syrian Central Military Media via AP
03 of August 2017 19:31:03
BEIRUT – Russia's Defense Ministry announced a cease-fire for a third safe zone in war-torn Syria on Thursday, paving the way for the delivery of sorely needed humanitarian relief to rebel-held areas north of the city of Homs.In central Syria meanwhile a swap between Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group and Syria's al-Qaida affiliate ended with more than 7,000 fighters and civilians crossing into rebel-held parts of northern Syria in return for the release of five Lebanese militants who arrived in government-held parts of the country.Military Spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Russia would deploy military police in the area on Friday and set up two checkpoints and three observation points around its borders."It's important that people can live again," said Mustapha Khaled, an opposition activist working for a media center for the town of Talbisah, in north Homs province.
After sunset, all the buses had crossed and five Hezbollah fighters captured by al-Qaida-linked fighters last year arrived in areas controlled by the Syrian government. Hezbollah is fighting in support of Assad's government in Syria.The five Hezbollah militants were to drive several hours into Lebanon where a large celebration was being prepared to welcome them in the border village of Qaa.The swap was part of an agreement struck this week to provide al-Qaida-linked militants with safe passage out of Lebanon. Some 6,000 Syrians elected to leave Lebanon with the fighters. It followed two weeks of battles between Hezbollah and the Syrian government on the one side, and the al-Qaida-linked militants on the other, along the frontier between Lebanon and Syria.
A ceasefire between government forces and rebels went into effect in central Syria after Russia struck a safe zone deal with the opposition pic.twitter.com/XG1f1OpEHI— AFP news agency (@AFP) 3 de agosto de 2017