Third evacuation convoy sets out for Idlib from Daraa

Published 25.07.2018 00:06
Updated 25.07.2018 00:07

A third convoy carrying opposition fighters and civilians set out from Syria's southwestern Daraa province on Sunday en route to opposition-held parts of Idlib in the country's north.

The 24-bus convoy is carrying some 900 passengers, according to an Anadolu Agency (AA) correspondent based in the region. In recent days, at least 2,400 people have been evacuated from Daraa to Idlib and Aleppo's western countryside. Last month, the Syrian regime - with Russian air support - launched a major military operation in Daraa, allowing it and its allies to establish control over most of Syria's border with Jordan. The fighting led to a major displacement crisis, with an estimated 350,000 civilians fleeing Daraa towards areas near the border.

Following peace talks last year in Kazakh capital Astana, Daraa was designated a "de-escalation zone" in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

Meanwhile, the Turkish military on Tuesday conducted its 19th round of patrols in the northern Syrian city of Manbij as part of a deal with the U.S. to rid the area of the PKK-affiliated terror group, the People's Protection Units (YPG). In a written statement, the Turkish General Staff said forces of both countries coordinated patrols in the region between areas liberated by Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield and Manbij.

The first patrols by Turkish and U.S. troops in the region began on June 18. The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of the YPG from the city in order to stabilize the region.

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