Buses carrying Syrians leave camps in Lebanese border area

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 02, 2017 6:50 AM

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Buses carrying Syrians began leaving refugee camps in the Lebanese border area of Jroud Arsal on Wednesday under a truce deal between Shi'ite Hezbollah and Sunni Islamist Nusra Front militants, a security source and Hezbollah's Al Manar TV said.

Thousands of Syrians including militants and their families and refugees are to leave the border zone and head for Syria's Idlib province under the agreement.

Al Manar said that 26 buses had crossed from the Arsal area to Wadi Hmeid further northeast, in the direction of the Syrian border.

Nearly 7,000 Syrians are expected to leave the area under the ceasefire deal, according to Hezbollah-run media outlets.

The deal also included the release of Hezbollah fighters by the Nusra Front, which took place overnight.

The ceasefire took effect last week, just days after Lebanese Hezbollah and the Syrian army launched an offensive to drive Nusra Front and other Sunni Islamist insurgents from their last foothold along the Syria-Lebanon border.

Security sources say that some 1,000 Nusra Front militants are among those who will leave the area for Idlib aboard dozens of buses.

(Reporting by John Davison and Tom Perry; editing by John Stonestreet and Alister Doyle)