Syria says Rebels Leaving Last Opposition Area of Eastern Ghouta

DS    
   HERO Sergeant Matt Tonroe 33 was killed while fighting against ISIS in Syria

DS HERO Sergeant Matt Tonroe 33 was killed while fighting against ISIS in Syria

Successive evacuation deals were reached with rebel forces in parts of the enclave, with more than 45,000 fighters and civilians bussed out in recent weeks.

State media has said the rebels are due to go to areas near the Turkish-Syrian border that are controlled by opposition groups.

The deal, brokered by regime ally Russian Federation, would see fighters with the Jaish al-Islam rebel faction leave Ghouta's town of Douma for opposition-held territory in N Syria.

Some 1,300 fighters, activists, and civilians signed up to leave the town, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"Later, fighters rejecting the deal would exit the area while the others stay inside the city with their light weapons", the sources said, adding that Russia's military police would then be deployed inside Douma to take control of the town.

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Division within ranks of fighters?

The army statement came shortly after another group of opposition fighters and their relatives left southern and western parts of eastern Ghouta Saturday afternoon, bringing President Bashar Assad's forces a step closer to eliminating threats from insurgents groups nearby. Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman. Backed by Russia, Assad's forces have scored a series of victories over rebel forces in recent years, often through campaigns of siege, aerial bombardment and ground offensives that have drawn widespread global condemnation. The deal was reached between the Islamist group and Russian military forces backing Assad, the United Kingdom -based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Hours after the opposition denied these reports and Russian Federation again insisted that a preliminary agreement with Jaish al-Islam to surrender Douma had been struck. Talks with Jaish al-Islam for the evacuation of Douma had dragged on for several days, with residents growing nervous.

The US maintains about 2,000 US troops in Syria, who mostly work with local allies fighting ISIS in Syria.

Jaish al Islam counts around 10,000 fighters, according to SOHR.

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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.

The American service member killed this week by a roadside bomb in northern Syria was a 36-year-old Army soldier from Texas, the Defense Department said Saturday.

Meanwhile, more than a thousand Faylaq al-Rahman (al-Rahman Legion) militants have withdrawn from Douma via a humanitarian corridor at Wafideen Camp toward militant-held areas in the northwestern province of Idlib.

The UN has estimated the material cost of the war damage at close to $250 billion.

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