Syria destroys rebel tunnels af­ter evac­u­a­tion

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Syr­ian state TV says the mil­i­tary is de­stroy­ing a tun­nel net­work that linked rebel-con­trolled towns which are be­ing evac­u­ated as part of a pop­u­la­tion trans­fer. Govern­ment me­dia said the area between Ma­daya and Zabadani came un­der mil­i­tary con­trol Wed­nes­day af­ter gun­men and op­po­si­tion ac­tivists were evac­u­ated. The evac­u­a­tions from the two towns, and the north­ern pro-govern­ment vil­lages of Foua and Kfarya, re­sumed Wed­nes­day af­ter be­ing de­layed by a bomb­ing that killed more than 120 pro-govern­ment evac­uees on Satur­day. Al-Ikhbariyah TV said med­i­cal aid and bread have been dis­trib­uted to the res­i­dents of Ma­daya and nearby Baqeen. Images of starved chil­dren in be­sieged Ma­daya in late 2015 caused an in­ter­na­tional up­roar but the govern­ment-im­posed siege con­tin­ued. Crit­ics say the string of evac­u­a­tions, which could see some 30,000 peo­ple moved across bat­tle lines over 60 days, re­wards siege tac­tics and amounts to forced dis­place­ment along po­lit­i­cal and sec­tar­ian lines.

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