Syrian insurgents ready to quit last rebel town in Ghouta

Syrian civil defence volunteers pray over the body of a victim who died in a building collapse. AFP

Syrian civil defence volunteers pray over the body of a victim who died in a building collapse. AFP

Earlier on Monday, the group, the last in control of territory in eastern Ghouta, said on Sunday it would not withdraw to other opposition-held parts of Syria as other rebel groups have done under deals negotiated with Syrian government ally Russian Federation. In their assault on the rebel-held area, pro-government troops have been accused of indiscriminate shelling leading to the deaths of hundreds of civilians.

More than 400 civilians have left Eastern Ghouta through the Muhayam Al-Wafedin humanitarian corridor, while the total number of those who evacuated has exceeded 114,000 people, the Russian Defense Ministry's Center for Syrian reconciliation said. During this period, its members would hand over their heavy weapons and the Syrian government would assume control of state institutions in the town.

A Russian official, Stanislav Gadzhimagomedov, said the group was in touch with Russian officers handling the negotiations.

Jaish al-Islam is the last rebel faction in control of the territory in eastern Ghouta as other rebel groups have withdrawn to northern part of the country under deals negotiated with Russian Federation. Only the town of Douma has yet to surrender.

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Syrian government forces have regained control of almost all of Eastern Ghouta.

Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports from neighbouring Lebanon.

"We had defensive plans prepared, but regrettably Faylaq al-Rahman cut the water that was brought from Barada River", Bayraqdar told the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV.

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