UN Seeks Access to Douma in Eastern Ghouta, People 'on Their Knees'

Syria's Assad poised for another huge symbolic victory

Last rebel group quits Ghouta

The Russian military says it expects a rebel evacuation from the suburbs of the Syrian capital to be completed in the coming days.

However, Jaish al-Islam has yet to confirm the report and only said on Saturday that it had agreed to evacuate the wounded to Idlib in northwestern Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the news, saying that a deal brokered by regime ally Russian Federation would see fighters with the Jaish al-Islam faction leave Ghouta's main town of Douma for opposition-held territory in northern Syria.

Eastern Ghouta, a 105-square-km agricultural region consisting of several towns and farmlands, used to be occupied by several rebel groups, who posed the last threat to the capital by firing shells into Damascus' government-controlled neighborhoods.

Fighters from the Jaish al-Islam group will leave Douma to north Syria, possibly to the city of Jarablus, controlled by Turkish-backed rebels, a Syrian opposition source close to talks held between the group and Russian Federation told Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday. Turkey, with support from rebels, is running its own military operations against a US -backed Kurdish party that controls territory along the frontier.

Russia's military also said Sunday that a preliminary agreement has been reached on the evacuation of Army of Islam fighters. Maj.


Syrian state TV separately said the army had freed the four women and a man from the militants as part of "efforts by the Syrian state to liberate all the prisoners in Douma".

The first Army of Islam fighters began evacuating Douma on Tuesday, headed to Jarablus, a northern Syrian town controlled by Turkish troops and allied Syrian forces.

Since the Syrian crisis broke out in 2011, the Chinese government has signed multiple agreements with worldwide bodies, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the global Committee of the Red Cross, to provide medical and food aid to Syrian refugees.

Local activists have said that over 100,000 civilians were trapped inside Douma, which suffered devastating damage. He said Turkey was also participating in the talks.

On Sunday, a senior political official from the group denied agreeing to a deal that would see its thousands of fighters leave Douma.

Faylaq al-Rahman did not have a significant presence in the Douma.

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