Syrian forces have established full control over Darayya, a besieged suburb of the Syrian capital of Damascus, after militants and civilians were evacuated under a deal with the government.
“The Syrian army completely controls Darayya. … There isn’t a single armed man there,” a military
source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP on Saturday.
“The Darayya file is now closed after the evacuation of all the civilians, armed men and their families under the agreement” reached on Thursday between the government and the militants, Syrian state television said.
The television broadcast footage of army vehicles combing the streets of the town, which has been under siege since November 2012.
Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the second and final convoy of militants and civilians left Darayya on Saturday.
The total number of evacuees is not yet clear.
Syrian government troops stand guard as a bus carrying people drives by, as part of evacuation from the town of Darayya outside the capital, Damascus, on August 26, 2016. © AFP
’s official news
agency, SANA, reported on Saturday that 4,000 civilians were to be directed to reception centers and at least 700 rebels escorted to the militant-held city of Idlib in northwest Syrian.
The arrivals were the first since the evacuation of the town just outside Damascus began on Friday under an agreement between the government and the militants.
This comes as Syrian army units have stepped up their clean-up operations against Takfiri militants both inside and around Darayya over the past few days, pounding terrorist positions and inflicting heavy losses on militant ranks.
Darayya has become one of the most heavily-bombed militant-held areas during Syria’s conflict.
Since March 2011, Syria has been gripped by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies.
United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict.