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Bloodied and Bullet-holed: Rebels Leave Syrian City in Ruins

After controlling the Syrian city of Homs for nearly two years, rebel fighters deserted the "capital of the revolution" on Thursday, leaving a ruined city epitomizing the brutality of the civil war.

Debris lie on a deserted street in Homs, Syria, on May 8, 2014 after Syrian government forces regained control of rebel-controlled areas.

After holding the city of Homs for nearly two years, close to 1,200 rebel fighters boarded buses which took them out of the "capital of the revolution" in convoys on Wednesday and Thursday. They were driven to rebel-held territory outside the city under a cease-fire deal agreed between the insurgents and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian forces say they will take full control over Homs, a city once vibrant with pro-democracy crowds but now associated with images of ruin that epitomize the brutality of Syria's civil war.

- / AFP

A bullet-riddled parking sign stands amid debris in a deserted street leading into the old city of Homs on May 8.

Youssef Karwashan / AFP

Syrian government officials walk on a road, backdropped by damaged buildings from fighting with Free Syrian Army rebels, on May 8.

Uncredited / AP

Debris lie on a street after Syrian government forces regained control of rebel-controlled areas on May 8.

- / AFP

A general view shows a heavily damaged building in Homs, Syria on May 8.

Rim Haddad / AFP

Debris litter a deserted street in the Christian neighborhood of Hamidieh on May 8.

- / AFP

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are seen in Homs on May 8.

Khaled Al-hariri / X00374

Debris lie on a deserted street on May 8.

- / AFP