A man is seen pushing his bicycle in an area adjacent to the Waer neighborhood in the central city of Homs, Syria on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. (AP Photo)
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Once Syrian opposition fighters start pulling out of the last rebel-held area of Homs this week, the city once known as the "capital of the revolution" will fully return to government control.The first stage of the rebel evacuation from the Waer neighborhood of Homs may begin as early as Wednesday, part of a truce reached between the government and the opposition. Government forces had blockaded Waer for nearly three years, only sporadically allowing in food.The first batch of fighters is expected to include 300 to 700 gunmen, although some 3,000 fighters are believed to be holed up inside the neighborhood, which is separated from the rest of the city by the Orontes River.There, the government assumed control of the quarter after about 2,000 rebels were granted safe passage to opposition areas north of Homs.The final rebel withdrawal from Homs will be touted as a major victory for the government in a conflict that has killed more than 250,000 people since March 2011 .
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