Daraya under government control after last rebels evacuated: Syria army

Syrian rebel fighters and their families collect their bags from a coach on Aug 27, 2016, upon their arrival in the rebel-held northwestern city of Idlib.
Syrian rebel fighters and their families collect their bags from a coach on Aug 27, 2016, upon their arrival in the rebel-held northwestern city of Idlib. PHOTO: AFP

DAMASCUS (AFP) - Government forces on Saturday (Aug 27) retook control of Daraya near the Syrian capital after rebels and civilians were evacuated following a four-year siege by regime forces, a military source told AFP.

"The Syrian army completely controls Daraya and has entered all of the town. There isn't a single armed man there," the source said of the insurgents, speaking on condition of anonymity.

State television said: "The Daraya file is now closed after the evacuation of all the civilians, armed men and their families under the agreement" reached on Thursday between the regime and rebels.

It broadcast footage of army vehicles combing the streets of the town, which was one of the first to rise up against the regime in Syria's five-year-old revolt.

"The second and final convoy of rebels and civilians came out of Daraya today," Syrian Observatory for Human Rights chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The total number of evacuees was not yet clear.