Syria makes another move into history.

The evacuation of four Syrian towns besieged by rebels and government forces began on Friday under a deal brokered by opposition backer Qatar and regime ally Iran.

The initial phase of the operation, which involves a coordinated population swap of tens of thousands of people, involved at least 80 buses, an AFP correspondent in rebel-held Rashidin, west of Aleppo city, said. They arrived at a marshalling point in Rashidin, west of Syria’s government-held second city Aleppo, followed by 20 ambulances.

Assad says Syria chemical attack that killed dozens is ‘fabrication’

Critics say the population movements are permanently changing the ethnic and religious map.