Home Global Village Syrian government forces announce Yarmouk camp evacuation agreement

Syrian government forces announce Yarmouk camp evacuation agreement

Yarmouk

News Analysis |

The Syrian government has reached an evacuation deal with fighters from Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) to leave the Yarmouk refugee camp in southern Damascus.

Yarmouk is one of the last rebel-held pockets around the Syrian Capital, Damascus. The official Syrian News Agency, SANA reported on Monday that the fighters and their families, numbering about 5,000, would be evacuated in two stages, the first of which would see 1,500 people transported to the rebel-controlled Idlib province in northwestern Syria.

The deal is part of a wider agreement between HTS, formerly al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, and President Bashar al-Assad’s government to surrender heavy and medium military hardware.

The clearance of areas around rebel and terrorist pockets around Damascus will be a major victory for the government forces which at one point were on the verge of defeat.

Al Jazeera reported that HTS was compelled to accept the government’s demands for releasing prisoners and allowing thousands of Syrians from two besieged loyalist towns, Kefraya and Foua, to head to government-controlled territory.

Buses to transport the rebels and their relatives had already begun gathering around Yarmouk, according to local news media reports.

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Nevertheless, the agreement falls short of securing for the government control of entire southern Damascus, with a few pockets of territory still under control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

Government forces have been engaged in a two-week-long offensive to recapture those pockets, but ISIL fighters have put up fierce resistance in areas where heavy weapons have proved to be of limited use.

The deal is part of a wider agreement between HTS, formerly al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, and President Bashar al-Assad’s government to surrender heavy and medium military hardware.

However, despite fierce resistance, the ISIS-held pockets around Damascus are expected to fall soon due to the surrender of rebel groups. It will now enable the SAA to attack ISIS from the various axis which will reduce the capability of this terrorist group to fend of the government offensive.

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The clearance of areas around rebel and terrorist pockets around Damascus will be a major victory for the government forces which at one point were on the verge of defeat. After securing the Syrian capital, Bashar-al-Assad’s standing in the international community will be enhanced and he will be able to emerge as a key player in Middle Eastern politics.


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