Wounded Syria rebels enter Lebanon as part of truce

Friday 25/09/2015
Full evacuations are expected to begin on Monday

BEIRUT - Two severely wounded Islamist rebels were rushed out of a flashpoint rebel bastion in Syria to Lebanon on Sunday as part of a truce in flashpoint areas, a monitor said.

"The United Nations transferred two Ahrar al-Sham fighters in critical condition from Zabadani to Lebanon," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Warring parties in Syria agreed Thursday to the six-month truce in Zabadani, the last rebel stronghold along Syria's border with Lebanon, as well as the Shiite Muslim villages of Fuaa and Kafraya in the northwestern province of Idlib.

The ceasefire is to include the evacuation of civilians and rebel fighters out of Zabadani in exchange for the safe passage of civilians from Fuaa and Kafraya.

But there were delays when protesters in rebel-held territory in Idlib province blocked roads, preventing the planned evacuation by the Red Crescent from getting under way.

A member of Zabadani's local council said the "two wounded people were evacuated as an exception because of their critical condition".

He said they were being taken to Beirut.

According to Abdel Rahman, the full evacuations are expected to begin on Monday.