Russian Federation in talks with last rebel group in Ghouta

American News Breaking NewsPolitics Trump Announces Withdrawal from Syria Discusses Infrastructure Plan
By Alexandra Hollenbeck

American News Breaking NewsPolitics Trump Announces Withdrawal from Syria Discusses Infrastructure Plan By Alexandra Hollenbeck

The Syrian government and the Russian military backing it have demanded that the Army of Islam rebel group leave the area for northern Syria, following a devastating five-week government offensive in eastern Ghouta.

The Army of Islam has refused to respond to media requests for comment.

Council member Yad Abdelaziz said there was no such agreement in place, but that "humanitarian cases" would be allowed to evacuate on Monday.

The four strategic towns of Eastern Ghouta are declared liberated, as the last batch of rebels and their families got on the buses leaving toward rebel-held areas in the north, according to the state media outlets.

On Tuesday, SANA quoted a military source as saying more than 40,000 people have returned to their homes in areas of the former rebel enclave. The Observatory said evacuations were underway under that deal with civilians - including the sick or wounded, or family members of the Faylaq al-Rahman rebel group - to head towards Idlib.

Douma is a stronghold of the powerful Jaish al Islam opposition group.

An agreement was reached with the Jaish al Islam rebel faction to leave Douma, a town of at least 100,000 people roughly 6 miles northeast of downtown Damascus and the last area in Ghouta still in rebel hands, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported Sunday.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Trump called for the spending freeze after reading a news report that said the USA had committed the funds for recovery efforts in Syria, which has been wracked by a more than seven-year civil war.

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Four major rebel groups were now positioned inside Eastern Ghouta, namely the Islam Army, Failaq al-Rahman, Ahrar al-Sham, and the Levant Liberation Committee, known as the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front.

Jaish al-Islam has previously said it would not leave Douma and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group reported divisions within its ranks. The group was in negotiations with the Assad government through Russian mediators.

In response to Russia's calls to leave Syria in recent months, top USA officials have said they meant to keep US troops there as long as needed to protect USA allies in the war-torn country and ensure that IS does not make a comeback in its former Syrian strongholds.

On Monday, more than 600 people evacuated the town on buses sent by the government and the Syrian Red Crescent to take them to Jarablus, a northern Syrian town controlled by Turkish troops and allied Syrian forces.

On Saturday, the Syrian army command announced it had liberated all towns and cities in the embattled Eastern Ghouta, green belt around the capital pertaining to the province of Damascus Countryside, and was readying for the final assault to free Douma of terrorists.

Local activists say over 100,000 civilians are trapped inside Douma, which has suffered catastrophic damage. The town is one of the last around the capital to hold out against the government.

Douma has been besieged by government forces since 2013.

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