Rebel Army of Islam Flees Syrian Territory, Government Troops Move In

Rebel Army of Islam Flees Syrian Territory, Government Troops Move In

Rebel Army of Islam Flees Syrian Territory, Government Troops Move In

The unit of the powerful Lebanese Shia militia that has been fighting with the Syrian army said among the terms of the deal was setting up a Syrian government-approved local council to run the city's affairs after rebels withdraw. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group also reported the rebels' leaving Douma.

Mr Al Assad and his allies say their offensive in Eastern Ghouta is necessary to end the rule of militants over the area's people, and to stop them shelling government areas.

Fighters from the Faylaq al-Rahman group left Douma on buses sent by the Syrian government to the rebel-held province of Idlib, SANA state news agency reported.

In the past few weeks, these deals have seen more than 46,000 people - fighters and civilians - board buses with scant belongings to be driven to the northwestern province of Idlib, which is largely outside government control.

The reports come after Syria's army on Saturday vowed to finish off rebels in Douma, the main town in Eastern Ghouta.

Since February 18, Russia-backed regime forces have recaptured the vast majority of Eastern Ghouta through the combination of a deadly air and ground assault and evacuation deals.

Monday marks the second consecutive day of rebel evacuations from the town of Douma.

A rebel faction trapped by Syrian government forces outside the capital agreed to evacuate to northern Syria on Sunday as talks continued over lifting the siege against the town of Douma, where tens of thousands of civilians await relief.

The retaking of eastern Ghouta would mark a major milestone in President Assad's efforts to regain control of territory seized by rebel factions during Syria's seven-year civil war.

"Army units are continuing their combat operations to rid Douma of terrorists", the army statement said.

Pro-Syrian government forces, which have allied with Syrian Kurdish fighters battling Turkey and rebels in the northwest, clashed last month with the mostly Arab faction of the Syrian Democratic Forces in the east. Syria, Russia and Iran have accused the USA of shielding the remaining ISIS militants in the east, something the US -led coalition has denied.

A Syrian military source was quoted as saying that some of the fighters were rejecting the deal.

The top United Nations official in Syria, Ali Al-Za'tari, told the Dubai-based al-Arabiya TV in an interview aired Saturday that "Idlib can not take more people".

Backed by Russia, Assad's forces have scored a series of victories over opposition forces in recent years, often through campaigns of siege, aerial bombardment and ground offensives that have drawn widespread worldwide condemnation.

Holed up inside Eastern Ghouta, militants have been launching indiscriminate mortar and rocket attacks on Damascus, which have resulted in many civilian deaths.

Two members of the USA -led coalition fighting the so-called Islamic State were killed and five others were wounded by an improvised explosive device in northern Syria late on Thursday.

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