Their departure, after intense negotiations, involves the movement of more than 1,500 people to the northeastern region of Aleppo under the supervision of the Red Crescent and the military police of Syria and Russian Federation.
Homs governor Talal Barazi told Reuters he expected around 1,500 people, including at least 400 fighters, to depart on Saturday for rebel-held areas northeast of Aleppo city. The Russian-supervised evacuation of Waer was agreed earlier this month and is expected to last several weeks.
In 2011 the violent repression of demonstrations in many Homs neighbourhoods calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down from power lead thousands to seek refuge in al-Waer.
Members of the Syrian Red Crescent oversee the departure of opposition fighters and their families as they wait to board buses to leave the al-Waer neighborhood, bound for a town on the Turkish border, in Homs, Syria, Saturday, March 18, 2017.
The agreement, reached on Monday, March 13, came after a month of escalated shelling of the neighborhood by pro-regime forces, according to a UK-based war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
Known as "reconciliation agreements", this is one of the Syrian government's local pacts that allow surrendering civilians and fighters to evacuate to other rebel-held regions.
"The preparations and the reality on the ground indicate that things will go well", the governor stressed.
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Morelle said that a volcanologist at the scene told her it was the most unsafe incident he had experienced in his 30-year-career. Officials at Sicily's Catania airport announced they would reduce arrivals by half to five flights an hour, due to ash clouds.
The Syrian government described such deals as a "workable model" that would bring the country closer to peace after six years of conflict. "We are optimistic that the full exit of armed (fighters) from this district will pave the way for other reconciliations and settlements", he added.
And no aid has reached the area in at least four months, with a United Nations convoy that attempted to reach Waer in February seized by gunmen who diverted the assistance to a government-held area.
Al-Wair, on the western outskirts, is the last rebel-held district.
Al-Wair is home to an estimated 75,000 people and has been under siege by government forces since late 2013.
Syrian opposition activists said around 40 people, mostly civilians, were killed in a mosque in the area.
Al-Waer was the last opposition pocket in the city of Homs, and this signifies the end of another rebel enclave that has endured some of the worst bombardment and attacks. Russian Federation is an ally of Syria's Bashar al-Assad regime.