SYRIAN REBELS EVACUATE LAST STRONGHOLDS IN SOUTH-WESTERN DAMASCUS
DAMASCUS, Hundreds of rebels and their families, started evacuating their last strongholds, in the south-western countryside of Damascus, to rebel-held areas in northern and southern Syria.
Busses were stationed in the town of Saassaa, to transport the rebels and their families from the towns of Beit Jin, Tal Marwan and Mughor al-Mir, towards the north-western province of Idlib, and the southern province of Daraa, the sources, said, at the site.
The three towns were the last strongholds of the rebels, largely those affiliated with the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, in the Western Ghouta countryside of Damascus.
Meanwhile, ambulances of the Syrian Red Crescent also stood by to evacuate those suffering from medical conditions.
Four busses left Friday afternoon, towards Idlib, while the rest still stood by after delays due to logistical issues.
When the evacuation ends, by 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.
The three towns are strategically important because of their proximity to the Lebanese border and the borders with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, through which rebels were getting support.
These towns have also posed a threat to the capital, as rebels there had waged several offensives to divert the attention of the Syrian army from other parts of the country.
The first anti-government protests erupted in Western Ghouta, in Apr, 2011. In early 2012, the area entered the phase of actual battles
Source: NAM News Networkhttps://syrianewsgazette.com/syrian-rebels-evacuate-last-strongholds-in-south-western-damascus/National news