Takfiri Militant Begin to Leave Douma in Eastern Ghouta

Takfiri Militant Begin to Leave Douma in Eastern Ghouta

On Monday, rebels and civilians began evacuating the town of Douma, the final opposition-held pocket of the Ghouta enclave.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the news, saying that a deal brokered by regime ally Russian Federation would see fighters with the Jaish al-Islam faction leave Ghouta's main town of Douma for opposition-held territory in northern Syria.

Under the deal, Syrian state media said Jaish Al Islam would hand over heavy and medium-sized weapons and acknowledge the restoration of the Damascus government's control of Douma.

On Tuesday, SANA quoted a military source as saying more than 40,000 people have returned to their homes in areas of the former rebel enclave.

The Syrian rebel group Jaish al-Islam released five prisoners on Wednesday as part of a deal over the eastern Ghouta town of Douma, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and state media said.

The first evacuations saw 1,100 people leave Douma for the opposition-held town of Jarabulus in northern Syria, and another 1,200 were bussed out the following day. There was no comment from the Army of Islam. It was one of the earliest hubs of the Arab Spring-styled uprising against President Bashar Assad that swept through the country in 2011.

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Fighters from the Army of Islam would evacuate to Jarablus, a town in the northern Aleppo province that is shared between rebel and Turkish control.

Russia's military says a preliminary agreement has been reached on the withdrawal of fighters of the Army of Islam rebel group from the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Syria's capital, Damascus.

The UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, criticises the "strategy" of forced displacement.

Syrian ally Russian Federation has struck a deal with rebels in the main town of the eastern Ghouta region to allow hundreds of civilians to leave along with fighters, a group monitoring Syria's conflict said on Sunday.

The Syrian government says it fires in response to shelling from Eastern Ghouta, but Western countries are accusing the Syrian government and Russian Federation of being responsible for the intensification of tensions in the area.

Over the past weeks, as Syrian forces reclaimed towns and villages in eastern Ghouta, they gave rebels and all men of fighting age the choice of accepting amnesty and serving in the Syrian military conscription, or leaving to go to the north of Syria. Around 1,300 fighters, activists, and civilians signed up for evacuation, according to the Observatory.

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