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Final deal reached on evacuation of militants, civilians from Syria's Douma: Monitor

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The photo released by Syria's official SANA news agency shows civilians carrying their belongings as they leave Douma, east of the capital Damascus, Syria, March 24, 2018. (Via AP)

A Russian-brokered agreement has been finalized to evacuate militants from Douma, the last terrorist bastion in Syria's Eastern Ghouta, a UK-based monitor sympathetic to anti-Damascus elements says.

The Syrian daily al-Watan also quoted "diplomatic sources" as saying Sunday that under the deal members of the Jaish al-Islam group would put down their heavy weapons and leave Douma for north Syria.

The "final" agreement came after the so-called Syria Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) earlier said a "partial agreement" had been reached for the evacuation of hundreds of civilians to Idlib Province, but the fate of militants was still under discussion.

SOHR head Rami Abdel Rahman said a total of 1,300 people would be evacuated from Douma under the agreement.

The Douma evacuation deal came one day after the Syrian army announced “full victory” against terrorist groups in Eastern Ghouta after months of intense fighting.

“Following a series of well-planned battles and combat operations marked with high levels of cooperation and coordination between different types of forces, the armed forces aided by allied forces wrapped up military operations in Damascus countryside’s Eastern Ghouta, with full control established all over its cities and towns,” said a statement by the General Command of the Army and Armed Forces on Saturday.

The victory “dealt a crushing blow to the Wahhabi project against the Syrian land and people,” the statement added.

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

In February, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution demanding a month-long ceasefire across Syria to allow for humanitarian aid deliveries and medical evacuations, but that has failed to reduce terrorist attacks on civilians.


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