July 31, 2014
Syrian gov't to regain control over Homs
Syrian forces say they will take full control today over Homs, a city once vibrant with pro-democracy crowds but now associated with images of ruin that epitomise the brutality of Syria's civil war.
After holding the Old City of Homs for nearly two years, close to 1,200 rebel fighters boarded buses which took them out of the "capital of the revolution" in convoys, activists said.
They were driven to rebel-held territory outside the city under a deal agreed between the insurgents and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
Homs provincial governor Talal Barazi said 80 percent of the fighters had left and the rest would be evacuated today after which the centre of Homs would be "declared a secure city" and reconstruction would commence.
Rebels smiled to cameras as they left, but the fall of Syria's third largest city to government forces is a major blow to the opposition and a boost for Assad weeks before his likely re-election.