Syria rebels depart eastern Ghouta town on government buses in first surrender

Syria rebels depart eastern Ghouta town on government buses in first surrender

Syrian rebels withdrew in busloads from a town in eastern Ghouta on Thursday and handed it over to the army, the first such surrender since one of the fiercest campaigns of the seven-year war began more than a month ago, Reuters reports.

The Ahrar al-Sham group’s decision to accept the army’s terms and abandon the town of Harasta puts the government on course for its biggest victory over rebels since the battle of Aleppo in 2016.

After dark fell on Thursday around 30 buses carrying rebel fighters and their families left the town. Syrian state media said the buses carried 1,580 people including 413 rebel fighters given safe passage to northwestern Syria.

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