2000 Militants in Syria Leave Western Ghouta for Idlib Province
Hundreds of terrorists in Damascus countryside have left several regions in Western Ghouta for Idlib province in the last several days, officials and locals said.
Nearly all terrorists who wanted to leave Western Ghouta have left together with their families the Khan al-Sheih, Zakiya, al-Moqilbeh and al-Tayeba towns for Idlib province.
The terrorists also destroyed all their military bases in these regions and after defusing the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that they had planted in these regions handed over their heavy weapons and military vehicles to the government troops and moved towards Idlib.
The Syrian army's devastating attacks and advances in Western Ghouta had forced the terrorist groups in Khan al-Sheih region to ask the government forces for a revival of the negotiations after they pushed the last round of peace talks into failure.
As ceasefire talks was in final stages to give the terrorist groups an opportunity to surrender in return for amnesty or relocate to Idlib province similar to other militant groups in Damascus province, the militants, mainly from the Al-Nusra Front, launched attacks to lift the army siege of Khan al-Sheih town irrespective of the truce and pushed the talks into failure.
After repelling terrorists' large-scale attacks to lift the army siege in the town of Khan al-Sheih that pushed the peace talks into failure, the government forces intensified their attacks on militants' defense lines in and outside the town and took full control of more regions.
The terrorists were forced to accept the terms of the truce after they lost over 100 fighters in the Syrian army's recent anti-terrorism operations in Khan al-Sheih that ended up in the army's tightening siege of the town.
Informed sources also disclosed on Tuesday that the Syrian army and peace committees of the town of al-Tal in the Northern parts of Damascus have struck an agreement according to which the government troops would stop targeting the terrorists there after the army receives a list of the militants who are planning to lay down their arms and leave the town.
The agreement comes as the terrorists affiliated to al-Nusra Front (that has recently changed name to Fatah al-Sham Front) have already violated the ceasefire in al-Tal town and the Syrian army has targeted their military positions and made further advances in the region.
Terrorists in al-Tal gave in to the Syrian government's terms for a peace plan that would include their surrender or relocation from the town after people staged massive protest rallies against them and the army laid siege on the town.
In recent days, a large number of civilians took to the streets in the town of al-Tal and called on the militants to join the peace agreement with the Syrian government or leave the town.
The demonstrators gathered in front of Jameh (grand) mosque in the town and chanted slogans against the militant groups, including "No to War and Yes to Peace" and called for the complete pullout of the militants from their town.
The protestors' security was protected by a number of militants who were willing to surrender themselves to the government.
A field source said last Friday that the army gave the Fatah al-Sham Front a final ultimatum to fully surrender areas under their control in Northern Damascus.
"The army soldiers have completely encircled the small town of al-Tal and they are currently awaiting orders to storm Fatah al-Sham's positions deployed there if the terrorists do not surrender," the source added.
Meantime, a senior official at Syria's National Reconciliation Ministry said Wednesday that the ceasefire agreements signed between the militant groups and the government in various parts of Damascus province, including those in Khan al-Sheih in Western Ghouta, has increased the chance for the start of peace agreements in Quneitra province.
Mohammad Nader al-Amri underlined that the peace plan in Daraya paved the ground for its implementation in other parts of Damascus, adding that efforts are underway to persuade terrorists to leave al-Tal town in the Northern parts of Damascus.
He added that despite the fact that the terrorist groups, specially al-Nusra Front, prevented implementation of the peace plan in Quneitra, reconciliation in Khan al-Sheih and the nearby areas will remove the obstacles to the implementation of the plan in the Southern province of Quneitra as well, FNA reported.
Source: Al Alam