DAMASCUS, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of Syrians from the towns of Kafraya and Foa, besieged by the rebels in northwestern Syria, will be able to leave under a new deal between the government and the rebels, state TV reported on Tuesday.
The towns of Kafarya and Foa, both predominantly Shiite towns that have been besieged since three years ago in the countryside of the northwestern province of Idlib, will see thousands of people leaving after a deal was reached with the government.
The state TV said the town of Ishtabrak in the northern countryside of Idlib is also included as the rebels are set to release people they kidnapped from those towns.
No more details were made available so far, but some sources who are familiar with the situation said that the remaining people in the two Shiite towns will evacuate towards Aleppo city in northern Syria, and in exchange the government will release a number of prisoners linked with the rebels.
The evacuation of the people from Kafraya and Foa, as well as the release of kidnapped people from the custody of the rebels, will begin within the next few days, and more likely on Wednesday.
Opposition activists said the deal will see the evacuation of the Shiite militants and their families from the two towns towards government-controlled parts in northern Syria, adding that the deal was concluded between the rebels and Iran.
Activists said that around 1,30000 civilians and rebels will be set free from a prison in Damascus, adding that the new agreement will be implemented within the next few hours and simultaneously by both sides.
With the deal expected to go into force soon, some people in Kafraya and Foa expressed skepticism as they lost their relatives in the previous evacuation.
In April, 2017, 112 people from both towns were killed while reaching a rebel-held area in Aleppo, when rebels detonated a car bomb near the buses transporting them to the government-controlled parts in Aleppo city.
Now, around 3,000 living in both towns are expected to leave, which will make both towns completely empty to become the main stronghold for Syria's rebels.