Middle East

Syria government reaches deal for rebels to quit Douma: State media

Pro-Assad forces are seen as they advance towards the town of Douma, the last opposition holdout in Eastern Ghouta (AFP)

Syria's government has reached an agreement for rebels to leave their battered holdout of Douma, near Damascus, for an opposition-held town in the country's north, state media reported on Sunday.

The official news agency SANA, citing a government source, said the agreement would see "the departure of all so-called Jaish al-Islam terrorists to Jarablus within 48 hours".

It came a day after a reported chemical attack that killed dozens of people in Douma, which Syria and its ally Russia have strongly denied.

There was no immediate comment from Jaish al-Islam.

The rebel group has more than 3,500 prisoners and hostages in its prisons in Douma, Rami Abdul Rahman, the director of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, told Reuters.

Five prisoners were released on Wednesday, after earlier departures by Jaish al-Islam fighters.

Russian news agency RIA, citing a security source, said Jaish al-Islam rebels will leave Douma in two batches in the coming hours.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has regained control of nearly all of Eastern Ghouta in a Russian-backed military campaign that began in February, leaving just Douma in rebel hands.

Tens of thousands of people are estimated to be sheltering in the battered city.

After a lull of a few days, government forces began bombarding Douma again on Friday.

Original Article


middle east eye


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button