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Terrorists leave Syrian towns south of Damascus under government deal

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)
Terrorists and their relatives are bused from the towns south of the Syrian capital Damascus as part of a deal with the government, May 10, 2018. (Photo by SANA)

Hundreds of terrorists have evacuated three cities south of the Syrian capital Damascus under a deal with the government of President Bashar al-Assad, leaving the areas to Daesh terrorists.

As many as 15 buses carrying hundreds of militants and their families left the towns of Yalda, Babila, and Beit Saham on the southern edge of Damascus on Thursday, according to state media.

"Yalda, Babila, and Beit Saham south of Damascus have been cleared of terrorism, after the final wave of terrorists who did not want to reconcile (with the government) left to northern Syria with their families," Syria's state news agency SANA reported.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP that the terrorists were being moved to the northern territories..

According to the London-based group, a total of 8,400 people had been evacuated from the three towns since a deal was negotiated last week.

"For the first time since 2011, there are no opposition fighters in or around Damascus except" the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, the so-called monitoring group said.  

The terror outfit is currently in control of parts of the Yarmuk Palestinian camp and the neighboring Hajar al-Aswad district inside Damascus.

Syrian government forces have lodged a weeks-long campaign to recapture those territories and continued to target terrorists' positions with more airstrikes on Thursday.

The agreement is similar to previous deals that have allowed Assad's government to free swathes of land around Damascus without risking civilian lives.

SANA said government forces were ready to enter the three towns, which had for several years remained under a "reconciliation" agreement that meant they would be controlled by militants provided a local ceasefire was enforced.

The recent deals show Assad's resolve to secure the capital and its surroundings through a mixture of military pressure and negotiated withdrawals.

The same strategy proved successful in the Eastern Ghouta region, one of the last strongholds of Daesh terrorists. The strategic area, located on the capital's suburbs, was recaptured by government forces last month.

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