Syria: Rebel Group, Russians Forge Ghouta Plan

The Reuters witness at the crossing with Harasta said the army had removed barriers from the old frontline lying across the road into the town to allow the buses to pass.

Those negotiations could lead to a different type of deal whereby rebels get to stay as part of local policing force once the regime takes over, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The Observatory says that more than 1,600 civilians have been killed in just over a month.

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that after his troops' capture of the northwestern Kurdish town of Afrin, his military aims to head east toward areas controlled by the Kurds. It includes a prisoner swap and is similar to other agreements that let opposition fighters and their families leave besieged areas peacefully.

Mounting worldwide criticism over civilian casualties appears to have pushed the government to negotiate.

The Syrian Government has moved closer to ending rebel resistance in Eastern Ghouta, with civilians streaming out of one of its besieged, bomb-battered towns and rebels preparing to surrender another.

The United Nations says 400,000 people are trapped in the towns and villages of eastern Ghouta.

On Sunday, Assad drove himself to a newly captured battlefront in eastern Ghouta, a demonstration of his seemingly unassailable position in the war that has been going his way since Russian Federation sent its air force to help him in 2015.

Rebels have hit back with rockets and mortar shells on the capital Damascus.

The forced transfer follows the relentless month-long bombardment of Ghouta, on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, Damascus. Children ran among the adults waiting to board.

Among them was a man who had died of his injuries on the way, said the monitor, which relies on a wide network sources inside Syria for its information.

This development came as the Syrian army captured the farms of Ayn Tarma on Thursday and advanced toward that area, which is a key stronghold of the Failaq al-Rahman rebels.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Russian Federation mediated and Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shia militant group, negotiated the withdrawal.

Rabieh Dibeh, correspondent for state-affiliated al-Ikhbariya TV, said 7,000 civilians and Faylaq al-Rahman fighters will begin leaving the four suburbs as early as Saturday. "Thus, during the day, as many as 115 people returned to their homes in the province of Homs, and 537 people - in the province of Deir ez-Zor", the Russian Federation reconciliation center chief added. Despite the fact that as many as 400,000 people live in the city with scarce medical facilities and food, the regime has continued attacks and blocked delivery of worldwide aid. Three other soldiers were wounded, the military said.

Women and children walked nearby or sat by the side of the road. Video from the White Helmets showed rescue workers surrounded by fire and ongoing shelling struggling to retrieve survivors from a building in Douma. In a renewed offensive by the government since February 18, the opposition lost large parts of it, with the Syrian army claiming it has now recaptured 80 percent of the suburb. Medical workers were fleeing the approaching front lines, it said.

On Friday, more than 3,000 civilians left the Syrian town of Duma through the humanitarian corridor near Muhayam Al-Wafedin.

He said the number of civilians fleeing rebel-held areas has been declining after tens of thousands left in recent days.


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