In the dead of night scores of buses carrying rebel fighters and their families from the besieged al-Waer neighbourhood in Homs City arrives in the rebel held territories in northern Aleppo.
Homs was once regarded as one of the epicentres of the 2011 uprising against President Bashar Al Assad. Six years later it has become a destroyed city. Although the rest of the city was captured by the Syrian Government in 2014, the neighbourhood of al-Waer remained as one of the last standing bastions of opposition. The situation has since changed over the course of 2016, forcing the rebels to rethink their strategy and move due to the suffering endured by non-combatants.
Hungry, tired and displaced, there are mixed feels regarding the evacuation. Many fighters are relocating for the sake of the women and children who are suffering tremendously under the conditions faced by the regime. One older gentleman gives us his thoughts on the situation saying “If the Russians wanted to save us from al-Waer neighbourhood, they shouldn’t have bombed us”.
This evacuation deal organised between community leaders and the government is seen as being the biggest of its kind with already thousands of citizens making the trip across the country in what has been tiled the twin towns agreement.