Militants from the so-called “Jaysh al-Islam” terrorists group have agreed to leave the enclave of eastern Ghouta near Damascus, Syria.
The Reconciliation Center in Syria, tasked by the Russian Defense Ministry with restoring stability in the war-torn country, says “a preliminary agreement has been reached for extremists from the “Jaysh al-Islam” group to leave eastern Ghouta.”
“Jaysh al-Islam” is one of the last major militant groups holding out in Douma, a major city in the eastern Ghouta area. The group has been using civilians in the area as human shields.
Upon leaving Douma, the terrorists must provide maps of minefields, voluntarily de-mine buildings, clear barricades and main transport routes,” a press statement by the Reconciliation Center says.
Listing the progress of the operation in eastern Ghouta, the center says that a total of 153,240 people have left the area through humanitarian corridors, including almost 30,000 from Douma, where a corridor is now open not only for civilians but for militants and their families as well.
On Sunday, 112 militants and 1,034 family members left Douma for the militant-controlled Idlib province, the Reconciliation Center reported.
Earlier, Syrian forces reported liberating all militant-held settlements in eastern Ghouta and lifting a blockade of a main highway connecting Damascus to the rest of the country. The area had been under militant occupation since 2012.