Europe

Evacuations from Syrian water rich region completed

  • In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moallem, right, meets with the head of the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, Filippo Grandi, left, in Damascus, Syria, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. Syria warned Monday of safe zones for civilians that U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed interest in creating, saying it would have to come in coordination with the Syrian government, otherwise it would be unsafe and violate the Arab nation's sovereignty. (SANA via AP)

    In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moallem, right, meets with the head of the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, Filippo Grandi, left, in Damascus, Syria, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. Syria warned Monday of safe zones for civilians that U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed interest in creating, saying it would have to come in coordination with the Syrian government, otherwise it would be unsafe and violate the Arab nation's sovereignty. (SANA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo released on Sunday Jan. 29, 2017, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian technical workers fix the power station of the Ein al-Fijeh water processing facility which supply the capital, northwest of Damascus, Syria. Syrian state TV reported later Monday that pumping water to some neighborhoods of the capital resumed after technical teams fixed some of the pumps at the Ein al-Fijeh spring. It said work is ongoing to fix all pumping stations in the area in what would mark an end to the weeks-long water crisis. (SANA via AP)

    In this photo released on Sunday Jan. 29, 2017, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian technical workers fix the power station of the Ein al-Fijeh water processing facility which supply the capital, northwest of Damascus, Syria. Syrian state TV reported later Monday that pumping water to some neighborhoods of the capital resumed after technical teams fixed some of the pumps at the Ein al-Fijeh spring. It said work is ongoing to fix all pumping stations in the area in what would mark an end to the weeks-long water crisis. (SANA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo released on Sunday Jan. 29, 2017, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian soldiers drink from the Ein al-Fijeh spring which supplies the capital by water, northwest of Damascus, Syria. Syrian state TV reported later Monday that pumping water to some neighborhoods of the capital resumed after technical teams fixed some of the pumps at the Ein al-Fijeh spring. It said work is ongoing to fix all pumping stations in the area in what would mark an end to the weeks-long water crisis. (SANA via AP)

    In this photo released on Sunday Jan. 29, 2017, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian soldiers drink from the Ein al-Fijeh spring which supplies the capital by water, northwest of Damascus, Syria. Syrian state TV reported later Monday that pumping water to some neighborhoods of the capital resumed after technical teams fixed some of the pumps at the Ein al-Fijeh spring. It said work is ongoing to fix all pumping stations in the area in what would mark an end to the weeks-long water crisis. (SANA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The Syrian military says the evacuation of rebels and their families from the Barada Valley as part of an agreement to surrender the capital region's primary water source has been completed.

The military says via the Telegram messaging system that 1,142 fighters and 760 members of their families have been evacuated from the region northwest of the capital Damascus. They were taken in buses to the rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib.

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.

It said more people are to be evacuated from the nearby village of Harira but it has been delayed because the roads are closed with snow.