President Bashar al-Assad stands with soldiers of the Syrian army.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Two thousand Syrian Islamist fighters are expected to be evacuated soon from besieged, rebel-held areas of southern Damascus in a deal brokered by the United Nations, a Hezbollah TV station said on Friday.
The deal marks a success for the government of President Bashar al-Assad, increasing its chances of reasserting control over a strategic area just 4 km (2.5 miles) south of the center of the capital.
It also highlights the increasing efforts of the U.N. and foreign governments to bring about local ceasefires and safe-passage agreements as steps toward the wider goal of ending Syria’s civil war, in which more than 250,000 people have been killed in nearly five years of fighting.
The besieged militants include fighters of Islamic State and the Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s offshoot in Syria. Hezbollah’s Manar TV said 18 buses had arrived to start taking them and 1,500 family members to areas under the control of IS and other rebel groups. It was not clear whether the buses were provided by the U.N. or by the Syrian army.
[…] Separately, the Syrian army said on Friday it had fought its way close to the strategic, rebel-held Aleppo-Damascus highway – its latest gain in a major offensive supported by Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias and Russian air power. […]
In a separate development, a British-based monitoring group said the last of some 200 Nusra Front fighters operating in Deraa province in the south had been given safe passage by the Syrian authorities to leave for rebel-controlled Idlib.
Damascus agreed to the move in return for the release of Iranian officers captured by Nusra while fighting alongside the Syrian army, said Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. […]
Meanwhile in the capital of Syria:
Tens of thousands out in Damascus streets celebrating Christmas Eve.. Syrian Christians & Muslims celebrated all over town
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I agree with Yonatan – the UN stayed completely out of it except to wring its hands and whimper, “Oh, no violence, please!!” while the fake rebels were in the suburbs of Damascus itself and advancing inexorably while the Americans pretended to bomb them. The whole thing is a Washington-concocted plan and the UN is as much a part of it as is NATO. The only reason the UN steps up now is to save as many ‘rebel’ fighters as possible for later use, and the driving force behind the surrenders and evacuations was the Syrian government and its National Reconciliation and Forgiveness policy. The UN just stepped in to take the credit.
The UN under Ban Ki-Moon is just a rubber stamp for anything Washington wants to do, lending it the useful imprimatur of international approval.
Arranging ceasefires to bring out ISIS fighters as a way to end the Syrian war? Pull the other one. When the losing side demands ceasefires, it is in order to save their troops from anhilation and to regroup for more attacks. The US wants the war to go on as long as possible, to bleed Russian resources whilst extra sanctions are imposed on Russia.
Other than local regional Muslims forces, the only forces actually attacking ISIS are those of Russia – and it is rewarded with more sanctions!
Addendum: If the ISIS forces rescued during the ceasefire leave Syria, they will be redirected to Ukraine or to the Central Asian areas. The US has no intent on ceasing the proxy wars against Russia.
They put us to shame.. In the midst of everything that’s going on they still keep the spirit of Christmas alive
I other news public enemy no 1 Zahran Allosh was killed along with his brother and other senior commanders in an air raid by the SAAF RUAF in Damascus .For that we should all celebrate
Reblogged this on Siem Reap Mirror.
Now that’s some good news for Christmas! Thanks for the video too.