First evacuees escape war-torn Daraya

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Besieged residents and rebels began leaving the Damascus suburb of Daraya on Friday, in an evacuation to end one of the longest stand-offs in Syria’s five-year civil war. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

First evacuees escape war-torn Daraya

Relief in the besieged Damascus suburb of Daraya.

Evacuations are underway..ending one of the longest standoffs since the Syrian conflict erupted some five years ago.

Insurgents and government forces have agreed to evacuate the town, which has been surrounded by the the Syrian army since 2012.

The U.N. says only one shipment of aid has reached the area since then.

The plight of civilians in Daraya and other besieged areas has long been of concern to the U.N., which has condemned the use of starvation as a weapon by both sides in the conflict.

But it says it was not consulted on this evacuation and is voicing deep concern that the safety of civilians cannot be guaranteed.

It’s a place where violence and depravation has become the norm.

Amateur video uploaded to social media purports to shows scenes of warfare on the streets going back to 2013.

Now a Syrian Army general says residents are free to leave.

Around 700 fighters and 4,000 civilians are expected to have gone by Saturday.

Tags : Daraya, Wartorn, escape, Evacuees, first

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