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Awaiting Russian answer on Douma proposals: Syrian rebel group

Awaiting Russian answer on Douma proposals: Syrian rebel group

The departures are part of a deal reached last week that resembles others used by the government to recapture territory throughout Syria's seven-year war.

However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels were divided on a deal with Moscow.

The Syrian Army has already liberated at least 70 percent of the territory of Eastern Ghouta, which has been controlled by terrorist groups including the al-Nusra Front since 2012.

To help the regime capture the rest, Moscow began talks with the rebels in each area.

Ahmad travelled all the way from the coastal city of Tartus in the hope of seeing her father and brother, after they were detained by rebels more than four years ago.Last month, Russia-backed regime forces launched a blistering assault on Harasta and the wider area of Eastern Ghouta, retaking large parts of it and forcing rebels into evacuation deals.

Dozens of people had been waiting since early morning for the arrival of relatives and friends who were bussed out of Ghouta.

Russian Federation and the Assad regime it supports reportedly threatened to resume their blistering bombardment if the last holdout pocket that includes the main Ghouta town of Douma does not agree to a similar deal. The official also explained that sappers, who defused hundreds of mines located in the tunnels, found field hospitals with sophisticated health devices.

Separately, Army of Islam spokesman Hamza Bayraqdar has accused the Faylaq al-Rahman rebels of helping government forces make inroads in the enclave after they dried out artificial swamps set up by the rebel fighters to slow down the Syrian forces' advance.

Russian military police, but not Syria's army, would deploy there.




But divisions within opposition ranks were holding up the talks, Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Hezbollah-run Al-Manar TV said the Army of Islam, which is only negotiating with Russian Federation, was refusing to discuss the release of prisoners and was obstructing the talks.

Before they faltered, talks over Douma's fate had envisioned Jaish al-Islam laying down its heavy weapons in exchange for government-provided water and electricity returning to the town.

Syria's pro-government Al-Watan daily reported similar terms and said the parties had three days to study the offer.

Residents trapped in Douma said they wanted a quick settlement to end the siege.

"I've spent my whole life here and lived the revolution. How could I abandon his grave?" said Abu Ayman, 30.

About 16,000 people have fled Douma.

SANA added that work is ongoing for the release of more people.


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