Syrian army regains full control of city near Damascus

Syrian government forces have wrested full control of a city near the capital Damascus after foreign-sponsored Takfiri extremists agreed to withdraw from the area in exchange for safe passage to militant-held regions in the northwestern city of Idlib.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced in a statement on Sunday that over 500 Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, militants and 1,500 members of their families, have pulled out of al-Tall, located about 10 kilometers northeast of the capital.

The statement added that the militants used the opportunity offered by the amnesty declared by President Bashar al-Assad last week, stopped fighting and agreed through negotiations to leave for Idlib, which lies roughly 300 kilometers (186 miles) north of Damascus, 44 onboard dozens of buses provided by the government.

Before their departure, the militants handed in their heavy military equipment plus more than 200 units of small arms and light weapons.

Syrian pro-government forces advance in Aleppo’s eastern district of Maysar as part of an ongoing operation to recapture all of the battered city on December 4, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The development came only two days after the Russian military’s Center for Reconciliation in Syria said government troops had recaptured Khan al-Shih, located about 25 kilometers southwest of Damascus, after foreign-backed gunmen departed the area and moved to Idlib.

Khan al-Shih had been under the control of foreign-backed militants since 2012.

Syrian army, allies win back three districts in eastern Aleppo

Meanwhile, Syrian government soldiers, supported by fighters from allied popular defense groups, have recaptured three more neighborhoods in the eastern quarter of the strategic northwestern city of Aleppo, located some 355 kilometers north of the capital, following fierce skirmishes with foreign-backed Takfiri militants.

Informed sources, requesting anonymity, said Syrian forces regained full control of al-Maysar, Joura Awad and Zahra Awad neighborhoods on Saturday.

Army units also restored stability and security in al-Jazmati and al-Halwania roundabouts in eastern Aleppo, besides a large section of Karm al-Qaterji district.

Syrian pro-government forces walk in Aleppo’s eastern district of Maysar as part of an ongoing operation to recapture all of the battered city on December 4, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Elsewhere in the Dara’a al-Balad district of the southwestern city of Dara’a, located about 90 kilometers south of Damascus, Syrian government soldiers struck and destroyed two terrorists’ command centers.

Scores of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham-affiliated militants were also killed when Syrian artillery units shelled the road linking the towns of al-Nu’aimeh and Um al-Mayazen in Dara’a Province.

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