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Hezbollah: north-east of Damascus free of opposition fighters

SYRIA (OBSERVATORY) – A jeep under opposition control northeast of Damascus is free of opposition fighters and under state control, military media said on Wednesday.

Under an agreement reached between the Syrian government and opposition fighters on Friday, some 3,700 fighters and their families left the eastern pen of Qalamoun, some 40 kilometers northeast of Damascus, in the past few days.

Hezbollah’s military media reported that the last 38 buses left at dawn on Wednesday. Syrian state television said buses would go to Idlib and Tripoli, which are controlled by the opposition in northern Syria.

Only one enclave remains under the control of the opposition near the Syrian capital, an area south of the city that includes a part under the control of the Islamic state organization, along with another part controlled by opposition factions.

The pro-government forces shell the enclave, which includes the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, the Black Stone neighborhood and neighboring areas.

In an indication of state control of the Kalamoun area, Syrian security forces began deploying in several villages there on Wednesday.

State television broadcast footage of caravans and police motorcycles entering the town of Rahiba and scores of civilians strewn in the streets chanting slogans.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with the support of Russia and Iran, has sought to end the last few pockets of opposition near Damascus. Assad seized control of the eastern Ghouta, the largest opposition-controlled area near Damascus, in early April.