The first of 2,500 Syrians trapped by war in Syria's old city of Homs without aid for nearly two years have been evacuated under a three-day accord allowing people out and aid in, the UN said.
In a statement Friday, the UN called for immediate access to nearly 1.6 million others throughout the country who have been without regular food or medical supplies for many months.
"I continue to call for the safe and voluntary evacuation of all civilians and for full access for humanitarian workers to help people caught in similar situations across Syria," UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said, calling Friday's operation "a breakthrough and a small but important step towards compliance with international humanitarian law".
Eighty three women, children and elderly people were evacuated from Homs, the first of the 500 families who have become a symbol of the horrors inflicted upon civilians by the civil war.
Over 100,000 people have been killed and millions of others driven from their homes since the conflict erupted in Syria in March 2011 when originally peaceful protesters sought the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.