Syrian rebels begin evacuation from besieged neighborhood

Syrian opposition fighters and their families have begun leaving the last rebel-held neighborhood in the central city of Homs as part of a Russian-backed evacuation deal signed earlier this week.

Reporters saw scores of opposition fighters and their families leaving the area Saturday in buses bound for the northern rebel-held town of Jarablous on the border with Turkey.

The al-Waer neighborhood is home to about 75,000 people and has been under a government siege since 2013, triggering shortages of medicine, and occasionally of food.

Some opposition activists have criticized the agreement, saying it aims to displace 12,000 al-Waer residents, including 2,500 fighters. The evacuation will take place over the coming weeks.