Rebels to be transferred from Daraa to northern Syria

Damascus: Buses were prepared to transport rebels from Syria’s southern province of Daraa to rebel-held areas in northern Syria, state news agency SANA said in a report.

The evacuation is planned for the rebels who refused to reconcile with the Syrian authorities in Daraa, Xinhua news agency quoted the SANA report as saying on Saturday.

The report added that roadblocks were also removed to prepare for the evacuation from several areas in Daraa.

Some rebel groups retracted their previous pledges to hand over their weapons in Daraa, according to SANA.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said some rebels rejected to be transferred to rebel-held areas in northern Syria after previous batches of evacuated rebels were mistreated in such opposition-held areas.

Instead, they wanted to be transferred to Turkey and Jordan.

Several previous batches of rebels were evacuated to northern Syria as part of a Russia-mediated deal to defuse months’ long tension in Daraa between the Syrian army and local rebel groups.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs recently placed the number of internally displaced people in Daraa province as a result of the recent tension at 38,600, including almost 15,000 women and over 20,400 children.

The Syrian army entered Daraa in 2018 after the rebels there were dislodged to the rebel-held areas in the northwestern province of Idlib.

However, the tension has continued in Daraa with attacks taking place occasionally.