Europe

Rebels, civilians to evacuate long-besieged Damascus suburb

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center, arrives for a new round of talks on Syria, in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center, arrives for a new round of talks on Syria, in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Syrian soldier walks in Daraya, a blockaded Damascus suburb, on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. The development in the Daraya suburb is part of an agreement struck between the rebels and the government of President Bashar Assad. Rebels in agreed to evacuate after four years of grueling bombardment and a crippling siege that has left the sprawling suburb southwest of the capital in ruins.(AP Photo)

    A Syrian soldier walks in Daraya, a blockaded Damascus suburb, on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. The development in the Daraya suburb is part of an agreement struck between the rebels and the government of President Bashar Assad. Rebels in agreed to evacuate after four years of grueling bombardment and a crippling siege that has left the sprawling suburb southwest of the capital in ruins.(AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Syrian soldiers are seen at the entrance of Daraya, a blockaded Damascus suburb, on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. The development in the Daraya suburb is part of an agreement struck between the rebels and the government of President Bashar Assad. Rebels in agreed to evacuate after four years of grueling bombardment and a crippling siege that has left the sprawling suburb southwest of the capital in ruins.(AP Photo)

    Syrian soldiers are seen at the entrance of Daraya, a blockaded Damascus suburb, on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. The development in the Daraya suburb is part of an agreement struck between the rebels and the government of President Bashar Assad. Rebels in agreed to evacuate after four years of grueling bombardment and a crippling siege that has left the sprawling suburb southwest of the capital in ruins.(AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

Buses, ambulances and trucks have lined up at the entrance of a blockaded Damascus suburb to evacuate rebels and civilians under a deal struck between the Syrian rebels and the government.

The surrender of the Daraya suburb marks a success for President Bashar Assad's government, removing a threat only a few miles from his seat of power.

Daraya's rebels agreed to evacuate in a deal late Thursday, after four years of grueling bombardment and a crippling siege that have left the sprawling suburb in ruins.

The evacuations are to begin later Friday.

The government is to allow 700 gunmen safe passage out of Daraya and let them head to the opposition-held northern province of Idlib. Around 4,000 civilians will be taken to shelters in and around Damascus.