Assad's media says main remaining rebel faction leaving Eastern Ghouta
03 April, 2018, 04:17 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
"The first stage of the deal stipulates that opposition fighters hand over their heavy and medium weapons to regime forces".
The opposition has been negotiating with Russian Federation, a key ally of Assad, for days on an agreement to evacuate Douma. Douma local council member Iyad Abdelaziz said the buses were for medical evacuations and "humanitarian cases".
It was not immediate possible to confirm the details of the deal and there was no comment from the Army of Islam.
The Syrian government declared victory over Islamist-dominated fighters in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta after a relentless six-week siege, cementing President Bashar al-Assad's rule by securing the capital and roads that link it to other parts of the country.
Nearly 200,000 people have been evacuated to government-controlled areas or to Idlib, home to mostly Islamist fighters in the northwest.
Syrian state media said Monday that the largest rebel group in the suburbs of Damascus has begun evacuating its last stronghold after seven years of war, but the rebels refused to say whether they had surrendered, and it was unclear who was on board a dozen buses seen leaving the town.
On Saturday the rebel group concluded a week-long evacuation of thousands of its fighters from areas it had controlled in other parts of the enclave.
SOHR, on Monday, reported divisions within the ranks of Jaish al Islam, which has previously said it would not leave Douma.
"Jaish al Islam has taken the decision to remain steadfast and the idea of leaving is not on the table", said the official.
Negotiators reached a deal late last Saturday to evacuate wounded Jaish al-Islam civilians and fighters to Idlib in the north-west.
"They will all have to agree to the settlement in the end", the source said.
Assad, who has military support from Iran and Russian Federation, now controls the bulk of Syria, though it may be hard for him to recover much more territory without risking a collision with other foreign powers that have forces inside the country.
"The armed forces' formations, aided by allied forces, wrapped up military operations in Damascus Countryside's Eastern Ghouta, with full control established all over its cities and towns", said the statement.
Douma was one of the Syrian cities that gave birth to the anti-Assad protests in 2011.
Now that the United States is said to be en route to becoming self-sufficient in oil, as crude oil and natural gas production continues to grow in the country, it is possible that America will become a little more insular.
Defense analysts say a major goal of the government's campaign was to complete a security belt around the capital, where for years rebels dug into a network of tunnels and well-fortified positions resisted countless offensives to seize the enclave. "We refuse to be forcibly displaced and demographic change in Eastern Ghouta".
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