Middle East

Rebels begin to leave Syria's Barada Valley

Syrian state-controlled TV says rebels have begun to evacuate Barada Valley as part of an agreement to surrender the capital region's primary water source to government control.

Al-Ikhbariya TV says four buses carrying 160 rebels and family members departed the Barada Valley on Sunday for the rebel-held Idlib province, where they will join thousands of other rebels and dissidents from the Damascus area.

The evacuation marks the end of a nearly six-week-long standoff between rebels and pro-government forces that led to severe water cuts to some 5 million people around Damascus.

The governor of the Greater Damascus province told Al-Ikhbariya that water pressure would begin to return to Damascus on Monday as engineers repair facilities destroyed in the fighting.