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Syrian troops move into Homs, former rebel stronghold

Rebel forces evacuated the city of Homs on Wednesday.
By Ed Adamczyk   |   May 9, 2014 at 2:07 PM   |   Comments

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HOMS, Syria, May 9 (UPI) -- Syrian government troops moved into the Old City section of Homs, known as "the capital of the revolution," after opposition forces evacuated the city.

The evacuation of 2,000 remaining rebels and their relatives, supervised by the United Nations, ended a three-year siege of the city by government forces in the country's civil war. Troops began sweeping the city for explosives, state media reported, soon after the last convoy of rebels departed Thursday for opposition-held territory in northern Syria, and civilians began returning to see what was left of their city.

Much of Homs fell to the rebels in 2011. Government forces engaged in a continuous bombardment of the city, killing hundreds of people and leaving thousands displaced.

The withdrawal is part of an arrangement reportedly mediated by Iran's ambassador to Syria. The agreement calls for humanitarian aid to be delivered to the rebel-held northern towns of Nubul and Zahraa, and the release of 70 rebels held in Aleppo and Latakia province prisons.

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