Buses carrying rebels who were evacuated with their families from al-Rastan are seen in Homs countryside, Syria May 7, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
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The remaining fighters started to withdraw from the last rebel-held enclave in central Syria Wednesday, state television reported, sealing the government's control over the area and opening a major stretch of the country's most important highway.Often brokered by Assad's Russian allies, such agreements have in recent years become a defining characteristic of Syria's seven-year war. They have displaced over 100,000 people -- rebel fighters and civilians.The Syrian government has said nobody is forced to leave and those who stay must accept state rule.
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