DAMASCUS, March 30 – A total of 7,003 rebels and their families left the Eastern Ghouta countryside of Syrian capital Damascus late Friday, according to state news agency SANA.
The number includes 1,234 rebels while the rest are their family members who chose to head toward rebel-held areas in northern Syria under a deal reached recently with the government under the mediation of Russia.
This batch is the sixth to leave the central towns of Eastern Ghouta, namely Zamalka, Arbeen, Jobar and Ayn Tarma. The evacuation process began last Saturday.
The Russian-backed Syrian army has advanced and captured 90 percent of that region.
Eastern Ghouta, a 105-square-km agricultural region consisting of several towns and farmlands, poses the last threat to the capital due to its proximity to government-controlled neighborhoods east of Damascus and ongoing mortar attacks that target residential areas in the capital, pushing people over the edge.
Four major rebel groups are currently positioned inside Eastern Ghouta, namely the Islam Army, Failaq al-Rahman, Ahrar al-Sham, and the Levant Liberation Committee, known as the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front.