The Syrian army and its allies are on the verge of completely seizing the rebel-held district of Qaboun on the edge of the capital Damascus following over two months of aerial strikes and artillery shelling, rebels and state media said on Sunday.
But rebels said they still held a small pocket within the neighborhood that lies in the northeastern edge of the capital that has been mostly reduced to rubble after around 80 days in which it was struck by hundreds of aerial strikes and missiles.
The army had resumed its intensive bombardment in the district on Wednesday after a one-day ultimatum it gave the rebels mainly drawn from the area to surrender and agree to evacuate to rebel-held areas in northern Syria.
“The regime has threatened to destroy what is left of Qaboun and will not accept anything but a military solution,” Abdullah al Qabouni from the local council of the district told Reuters.
Hundreds of rebels and their families had been evacuated this week from the adjacent Barzeh district after rebels there decided to lay down their arms and leave to rebel-held Idlib province.. They included some from Qaboun.
There were unconfirmed reports from a local source in the district that an agreement had been reached to evacuate the rebels from Qaboun on Sunday. About 1,500 fighters and their families are now trapped in a nearly one square kilometer zone.
A news bulletin on state television said evacuations had begun, quoting the governor of Damascus. No other details were provided on the numbers.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر