Syrians in 3 Towns Evacuate Under Rare Deal
A human rights monitor says the evacuation of fighters and civilians is under say in three Syrian towns after a U.N.-backed humanitarian deal was reached between the government and rebels.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 100 fighters in Zabadani, the last rebel bastion on Syria's border with Lebanon, are headed to Lebanon and Turkey before they will be returned to other parts of Syria. The monitor says more than 300 civilians and fighters are leaving the villages of Foua and Kfarya.
Elsewhere in Syria, authorities say several people were killed and many others wound in twin bombings in the central city of Homs. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
More than 250,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict, which has forced more than 4 million others to flee the country since it began in 2011.
Iraqi Forces Reclaim Ramadi
Iraqi forces are carefully sweeping the streets of the city Monday, searching for explosives and any other booby traps possibly set by Islamic State militants before they lost control of the city.
Troops were working toward the center of the government compound after securing the area on Sunday. IS militants had captured the city - the capital of Anbar province - in May.
Iraqi forces say pockets of jihadists may remain. Authorities say, however, the troops faced no resistance since jihadists fled on Sunday. There have been no reliable casualty reports.
It is also still not clear how many civilians remain in central Ramadi, 100 kilometers west of Baghdad. But an Iraqi spokesman has said most residents had taken shelter at a nearby hospital.
After months of preparation, Iraqi forces backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes pushed into the center of the city last week in a concerted effort to recapture the city from Islamic state fighters.