Evacuation of rebels, families from Syria's Quneitra ongoing

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-31 21:13:32|Editor: mmm
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DAMASCUS, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The evacuation of rebels and their families is still ongoing in Syria's southern province of Quneitra as the rebels continue to surrender heavy weapons to the army, state news agency SANA reported on Tuesday.

Altogether 12 buses arrived Tuesday to the Ofania crossing in the northern countryside of Quneitra to transfer rebels and their families from the town of Jubata al-Khashab toward rebel-held areas in northern Syria.

This batch is the latest to leave Quneitra since a deal was reached on July 20 between the rebels and the army under the mediation of the Russians to allow the rebels to leave areas they controlled in Quneitra for the Syrian army to fill in and recapture the entire province.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 9,880 rebels and their family members evacuated Quneitra and the nearby southern province of Daraa as part of the deals.

A day earlier, the War Media, the media unit of the Syrian army and its allies said the Syrian army had secured the entire borderline with Israeli-occupied Golan Heights from Daraa to Quneitra.

The deal over Quneitra came in the light of the recent summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, who met last week in Finland's capital Helsinki, where they discussed the situation in Syria, mainly in the southern region near the Golan Heights.

Putin highlighted the need to defeat terrorists in southwestern Syria while keeping the forces of Syria and Israel separated.

He referred specifically to the treaty of 1974, which officially ended the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and designated the lines of separation between Israel and Syria.