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Iran Press TV

Hundreds of militants leave besieged Damascus suburb of Khan al-Shih

Iran Press TV

Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:3PM

Hundreds of militants have left a besieged suburb of the Syrian capital, Damascus, under a deal with government forces.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said dozens of buses transported the militants and their relatives out of Khan al-Shih, located about 25 kilometers southwest of the capital, to the northwestern city of Idlib.

"Vehicles holding at least 1,200 people, as well as about 30 ambulances carrying wounded people, reached Idlib on Tuesday morning," said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the observatory.

Fateh Awwad, who heads a local charity, said as many as 1,700 people from Khan al-Shih had arrived in a camp for the displaced in Idlib on Tuesday.

"Today, we're welcoming people coming from Khan al-Shih... We've prepared the camp with everything, but as the number (of displaced people) is growing, we're missing some goods."

Khan al-Shih was the town from where foreign–backed militants provided reinforcements for Damascus suburbs. It is the fifth town held by militants to be evacuated over the past three months.

Syrian forces have struck a series of "local reconciliation" deals as a way of bringing an end to the conflict across the country. Under such deals, militants hand over their medium-caliber and heavy weapons to the Syrian army.

The Syrian army has recently advanced deep inside the eastern part of the strategic northwestern city of Aleppo, taking control of key neighborhoods. The advance has provided the besieged people an opportunity to flee into government-held areas.

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