Middle East

Syria resumes reciprocal evacuations after deadly bombing

  • This frame grab from video provided by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, shows buses carrying opposition fighters leaving Zabadani, near Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, April. 19, 2017, heading toward the northern rebel-held Idlib province. Syria's military media says the evacuation and transfer of thousands of Syrians from four besieged areas has resumed. Logo in Arabic reads, "Millitary Media."  (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

    This frame grab from video provided by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, shows buses carrying opposition fighters leaving Zabadani, near Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, April. 19, 2017, heading toward the northern rebel-held Idlib province. Syria's military media says the evacuation and transfer of thousands of Syrians from four besieged areas has resumed. Logo in Arabic reads, "Millitary Media." (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • This frame grab from video provided by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, shows buses carrying opposition fighters leaving Zabadani through a checkpoint, near Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, April. 19, 2017, heading toward the northern rebel-held Idlib province. Syria's military media says the evacuation and transfer of thousands of Syrians from four besieged areas has resumed. Logo in Arabic reads, "Millitary Media."  (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

    This frame grab from video provided by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, shows buses carrying opposition fighters leaving Zabadani through a checkpoint, near Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, April. 19, 2017, heading toward the northern rebel-held Idlib province. Syria's military media says the evacuation and transfer of thousands of Syrians from four besieged areas has resumed. Logo in Arabic reads, "Millitary Media." (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • This frame grab from video provided by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, shows buses carrying opposition fighters leaving Zabadani, near Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, April. 19, 2017, heading toward the northern rebel-held Idlib province. Syria's military media says the evacuation and transfer of thousands of Syrians from four besieged areas has resumed. Logo in Arabic reads, "Millitary Media."  (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

    This frame grab from video provided by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, shows buses carrying opposition fighters leaving Zabadani, near Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, April. 19, 2017, heading toward the northern rebel-held Idlib province. Syria's military media says the evacuation and transfer of thousands of Syrians from four besieged areas has resumed. Logo in Arabic reads, "Millitary Media." (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Syria's military media says the evacuation and transfer of thousands of Syrians from four besieged areas has resumed.

The reciprocal evacuations from two pro-government villages and two opposition-held towns was disrupted by a bombing Saturday that killed more than 120 pro-government evacuees, mostly children.

The Central Military Media says 3,000 residents of the pro-government villages, Foua and Kfarya, left Wednesday in 45 buses bound for government-controlled Aleppo.

Another 11 buses carrying opposition fighters left Madaya and Zabadani, near Damascus, heading toward the northern rebel-held Idlib province.

The opposition-run Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the transfer, which it says includes 800 armed men from both sides.

The population exchange has been criticized by rights groups, which say it rewards siege tactics and amounts to forcible displacement.