The Syrian Government and rebel groups have begun an operation to move people away from four besieged towns. People from the north-western towns of Foah and Kefraya are being taken to government-held areas near Aleppo. Evacuees from rebel-held Madaya, near Damascus, have been bussed to Idlib province.
Last month, the UN described the situation in the four towns as catastrophic, with more than 64,000 civilians trapped in a cycle of daily violence and deprivation. Many people are reported to have died as a result of shortages of food or medicine.