Rebels begin leaving new area outside Damascus

 
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DAMASCUS, Apr 21 (TNS): Rebels started leaving a new area outside the Syrian capital Saturday, state media said, after a new deal was reached between opposition fighters and the Russia-backed regime.

The agreement for the East Qalamun area is the latest in a string of deals that have seen rebels and civilians bussed out of former opposition strongholds near Damascus. Buses carrying terrorists and their families start exiting Al-Ruhayba”, a town in East Qalamun some 60 kilometres (35 miles) northeast of Damascus, state news agency SANA said, using its usual term for rebels.

State television said 3,200 fighters and their relatives were expected to leave Al-Ruhayba, as well as the nearby towns of Al-Nasiriya and Jayrud on Saturday. It showed images of buses moving in what it said was Al-Ruhayba, most with their curtains drawn. SANA late Friday said an agreement had been reached for fighters to leave Al-Ruhayba, Jayrud and Al-Nasiriya starting Saturday.