Thousands evacuated from Darayya in Syria as government forces take control of town

An agreement has been reached to end a four-year long siege of the town

Thousands evacuated from Darayya in Syria as government forces take control of town

Syrian government buses and a number of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent ambulances at the entrance of Daraya. Image: STR / AP/Press Association Images

Thousands of civilians are said to have been evacuated from the Syrian town of Darayya, after government forces took control of the town.

The town, a suburb of Damascus, has been under siege since November 2012, with residents facing bombardment and food shortages as a result.

The evacuations follow an agreement reached between rebels and regime forces.

The evacuated people are said to have been moved towards Idlib province in the north-west of the country.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) monitoring group said around 3,200 civilians and fighters have now been evacuated from the town.

"Regime forces are starting inspection operations at the city, which remained for about four years beyond the control of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and out of the reach of his forces and gunmen loyal to him.

"[This was] despite bombardment of thousands of barrel bombs and thousands of missiles and rockets, that killed and wounded thousands," the organisation adds.

In a statement, the office of Staffan de Mistura - UN Special Envoy for Syria - called on the various parties to "ensure that the implementation of this agreement and its aftermath is in full compliance with international humanitarian law and protection standards."

"A UN humanitarian team is reaching out to all parties, including the local population. The world is watching," the statement adds.

Meanwhile, at least 35 civilians in Syria are believed to have been killed by Turkish air strikes and shelling this morning, Reuters reports.

The SOHR says many others were injured in the attacks aimed at Islamic State and Kurdish forces.

Yesterday, Turkey suffered its first fatality of the conflict.

Separately, at least 15 people have died in the city of Aleppo after a twin barrel bombing yesterday.

Regime aircraft are reported to have dropped two explosive-packed barrels on a rebel-held part of the city, with only minutes separating the two blasts.

Dozens more were injured in Saturday's strikes, where mourners were paying respects to 11 children and four others killed in a barrel bomb attack on Thursday.