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IS fighters evacuated from southern Damascus: monitor

IS militants and their families have reportedly been bused out of southern Damascus [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 May, 2018

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Islamic State miliants and their families have been bused out of southern Damascus, SOHR said, though Syrian state media reports an agreement hasn't been reached.
A group of Islamic State fighters were evacuated from the last insurgent enclave near the Syrian capital on Sunday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the militants and their families had been bused out of the Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk and neighbouring Tadamun district, restoring state control over the area.

"The six buses left at dawn, heading east for the Syrian desert," Observatory head Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Syrian state media has not reported a deal to allow the militants to leave the enclave. On Saturday, a Syrian military source denied that any agreement had been reached, state media said.

The Observatory on Saturday said the two factions observed a brief ceasefire, which could have been a prelude to the evacuation of IS fighters from the area.

Syrian regime forces have conducted a devastating bombing campaign on the IS-held camp which has been subjected to fierce fighting and heavy losses on both sides.

Yarmouk
 was once a densely populated and thriving district of the capital, but it has been ravaged by violence since Syria's conflict broke out in 2011.

With the recovery of the Yarmouk enclave, the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad will have crushed the last besieged rebel enclave in western Syria, though pockets territory at the borders with Turkey, Iraq and Jordan remain outside its control.

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