Rebel fighters queue as they wait to be evacuated from the Old City of Homs May 8, 2014. REUTERS/Ghassan Najjar
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The last syrian rebels left Homs' Old City Friday under an evacuation deal that hands the government a symbolic victory, as civilians began trickling back in to find neighbourhoods in rubble.As the aid convoys entered Zahraa Friday, the last rebels in Homs were finally allowed to leave.The governor said the fighters and some of the civilians evacuated with them had been bussed out to the opposition-held town of Dar al-Kabira, 20 kilometres (13 miles) north of Homs."If the Homs operation ... is the implementation of a political solution through understanding, this is encouraging," he told AFP, adding that the UN's role had been restricted to help build "trust" between the two sides.The government allowed the rebels to pull out with their personal weapons in return for the release of 40 Alawite women and children, an Iranian woman and 30 soldiers held hostage by rebels elsewhere in syria. The army has imposed many sieges in the three-year-old conflict but that of the Old City of Homs has been by the far longest.
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