STORY HIGHLIGHTS


Rebels evacuate last strongholds in Damascus

CNC
Added On December 30, 2017

In Syria, hundreds of rebels and their families have started evacuating their last strongholds in the southwestern countryside of Damascus to rebel-held areas.
 
STANDUP(ENGLISH):HOUMMAM SHEIKH ALI, CNC Correspondent 
"We are now in the town of Saassaa in the western countryside of the capital Damascus. This region is called the Western Ghouta. Today, the rebels and their families will evacuate their last strongholds in this region toward rebel-held areas in the northern province of Idlib and the southern province of Daraa. Behind me are busses that are preparing to transport those rebels and their families out of this area. With this evacuation, the entire western countryside of Damascus will be free of rebels. ɾ The military operations in this region stopped a few days ago after the rebels, particularly those with al-Qaida, surrendered to the army after they became besieged in these areas."
 
Ambulances of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent also stood by to evacuate those suffering from medical conditions.
 
Four buses left Friday afternoon toward Idlib, while the rest still stood by after delays due to logistical issues.
 
When the evacuation ends, possibly late Friday or early Saturday, the entire western countryside of Damascus will be liberated from rebels, as the Syrian army has already captured all the towns on the western flank of Damascus.
 
The Syrian army halted its military operations in the area after rebels agreed to surrender in exchange for their transfer out of Western Ghouta as their positions had been besieged by the Syrian army.