A plane carrying more than a hundred Syrian rebel fighters left Lebanon’s Rafic Hariri International Airport on Monday, bound for Turkey. The
A plane carrying more than a hundred Syrian rebel fighters left Lebanon’s Rafic Hariri International Airport on Monday, bound for Turkey.
The insurgents were evacuated from the town of Zabadani in southwestern Syria after months under siege from government forces.
Soldiers in Beirut dispersed supporters of the Shia Muslim Hezbollah group who were protesting the arrival of the rebels. Hezbollah fighters have been killed in battles around Zabadani.
At the same time, some 300 Shia from northern Idlib province made the journey in the opposite direction after they were given safe passage by Sunni fighters and allowed to cross the border into Turkey. From there they will fly to Beirut.
Both evacuations took place under a deal brokered by the UN and were overseen by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Once in Turkey, the insurgents will be allowed to stay and receive medical treatment or return to rebel-held areas of Syria.
The Shia are also expected to return to Syria before long, Syrian Minister of National Reconciliation Ali Haider said on Hezbollah’s Manar TV station on Monday.