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Syria says evacuation deal reached with opposition in southern Damascus

01 May, 2018, 04:54 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Syria says evacuation deal reached with opposition in southern Damascus

"An agreement reached between the Syrian government and terrorist groups in southern Damascus, in the areas of Yalda, Babila and Beit Sahem", reported the agency, using its term for all rebels.

On Friday, April 27, as a result of airstrikes and ground shelling by the Syrian army in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in southern Damascus killed 17 civilians, including seven children.

Over the past two days, regime forces have retaken large parts of the district of Qadam on Yarmuk's western flank, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Yarmouk and its surroundings have been the militant group's largest urban redoubt in Syria and neighbouring Iraq, after IS lost most of the swaths of territory it once held in both countries.

Earlier this month the Assad regime is reported to have launched a chemical weapons attack to defeat the last pockets of resistance in Eastern Ghouta.

Activists in the area told Al Jazeera at least 18 civilians have been killed since the campaign began April 19.

The group now controls less than four percent of Syria, according to the Observatory.

"Yarmouk and its inhabitants have endured indescribable pain and suffering over years of conflict", said Pierre Krahenbuhl, UNRWA's commissioner-general.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) expresseD its deep recognition and gratitude for the extraordinary contribution of $50 million announced by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at the recent Arab League Summit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

IS has held parts of Hajar al-Aswad and Yarmuk since 2015 and seized Qadam last month. The Syrian military placed the camp and the surrounding area under siege.

Syrian forces allegedly used chemical weapons during a seven-week standoff that resulted in an evacuation deal between Russian Federation and Jaish al-Islam, the last armed opposition group to have remained in Eastern Ghouta - which was under rebel-control since 2012.

Syrian state television said the army was advancing towards Route 30 in Hajar al-Aswad.

"There are some families that have been buried under the rubble and no one is able to retrieve their bodies", said Abu Osama, a resident who fled the camp two days ago to nearby Yalda, joining thousands of others seeking relative safety there since the start of the latest offensive.

Syria has been in a state of war since 2011 after authorities used lethal force to crack down on nonviolent protests against the Assad government.



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