Busloads of Syrians including rebel fighters left the last insurgent-held area of Homs on Wednesday under a rare local truce agreement in Syria's nearly five-year conflict that shores up government control over the city. Nathan Frandino reports.
Russian fighter jets take off from their base in Syria for yet another bombing mission. For more than two months now, they've supported the Syrian army with dozens of air strikes against rebel groups trying oust President Bashar al-Assad. And now, in the city of Homs, those strikes are paying dividends. The army has forced a ceasefire in the al-Wair district, effectively regaining control of a city that was until recently, a rebel stronghold. Busloads of Syrians, including rebel fighters, are being allowed to leave the city under the UN-monitored deal. Homs Governor Talal Barazi says families are among those leaving. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HOMS GOVERNOR TALAL BARAZI, SAYING: "Around 300 armed people, in addition to 100 families, will leave today. This equates to around 400 women and children, as well as some civilians." The ceasefire will also allow food aid into the area for the time in nearly a year. Homs was a center of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that began in 2011. ...and while the ceasefire represents a setback for the rebels, it does not signal an end to the civil war that observers say has claimed more than 250,000 lives.