ALEPPO, Syria — On the morning of July 16, the first convoy of Syrians displaced from Daraa reached the Idlib countryside in northern Syria. Nine vehicles transported 430 people, including 213 men, 140 children and 77 women. Most of the displaced are militants from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and their families, in addition to civilians and activists from the towns and cities of the southern Daraa province and Daraa city.
The FSA factions had reached a cease-fire agreement with regime forces mediated by Russia on July 6 in the opposition-held areas in Daraa, except its northwestern countryside. Under the deal, FSA factions agreed to hand over their heavy weapons. Those opposing the agreement would go to Idlib in northern Syria. The agreement came 20 days after the regime forces, backed by Russian airstrikes, launched a violent offensive to take the rebel-held areas in southwestern Syria.