Hundreds of Syrian rebels and their families left the last opposition-held district of Homs, completing a deal that brought the whole city back under the regime's control for the first time since the start of the war in 2011.

Rebel fighters carry their weapons and belongings as they evacuate the besieged Waer district in the central Syrian city of Homs, May 21, 2017.
Rebel fighters carry their weapons and belongings as they evacuate the besieged Waer district in the central Syrian city of Homs, May 21, 2017.

Hundreds of Syrian rebels and their families left the last opposition-held district of Homs late on Sunday, completing a deal that brought the whole city back under the control of Bashar al Assad's regime for the first time since the start of the war.

Since December, the opposition have lost their former stronghold of Aleppo and nearly all of the areas they controlled in Damascus.

Homs has been at least partially controlled by the rebels since the early days of the revolt that broke out in 2011. But the regime forces recaptured one Homs neighbourhood after the other, finally isolating the rebels in the Waer district.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 20,000 people were evacuated from Waer to the opposition-held areas in the country's north over the past several weeks.

Besieged for four years, Waer was the last opposition-controlled district in Homs. The evacuation of armed fighters, their families and opposition activists began several weeks ago, following a deal where opposition fighters are granted safe passage to rebel-held areas elsewhere in Syria, including the northwestern Idlib province.

The evacuation of Waer will bring the Syrian regime closer to cementing its control over more parts of the war-torn country.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies