Published: Sat, April 21, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Syrian rebels hand over arms, leave the Other town Nearby Douma

Syrian rebels hand over arms, leave the Other town Nearby Douma

Syrian state media reported that missiles had again targeted an airbase overnight, but the commander in the regional military alliance backing the government, speaking on condition of anonymity, later told Reuters it was a false alarm.

They retook full control earlier this month of Eastern Ghouta, a large semi-rural area to the east of the capital that was held by rebels for six years.

The reported move comes as President Bashar al-Assad accelerates his push to retake remaining enclaves and strengthen his position around the capital following the defeat of rebels in eastern Ghouta this month.

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Air strikes and shelling hit the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp and al-Hajar al-Aswad area, part of a small enclave divided between warring jihadists and other rebels south of the capital. He said the battle would begin within days if the militants do not agree to be evacuated.

Dumayr is at the Qalamoun mountains, near the southern Ghouta region that came under complete government management every week soon after the alleged chemical weapon strike and also having a offensive. Russian Federation and Assad's government deny this. The Russian Defense Ministry has claimed the incident was staged by Britain and a Russian general in Syria says no evidence of chemical weapons has been found in Douma.

However, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Thursday that "Syrian government troops, in freeing the territory of Eastern Ghouta, found containers with chlorine, the most bad kind of chemical weapon, from Germany".

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U.S. military strikes on Syria last week removed any moral obligation Russia had to withhold S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems from its ally Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday, RIA state news agency reported.

Rebels on Thursday began pulling out of Dumair, an enclave northeast of Damascus, under a surrender deal with the regime. Other rebels affiliated to Al Qaeda from around Yarmuk and the nearby district of Hajar al Aswad will instead be deported to Idlib in northwest Syria, in an area under de facto Turkish influence. Iraq has carried out airstrikes in Syria against the group in the past.

The Syrian government has control of most of the country, with opposition groups restricted to pockets in the north.

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The state SANA news bureau states the Army of both Islam fighters and their own families are now departing city of Dumayr on Thursday. The report says 1,500 rebels and 3,500 of their next of kin are to leave Dumayr for the town of Jarablus, near the Turkish border.

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