BEIRUT: Two buses carrying the first group of Jaish al-Islam fighters and their families on Monday left the city of Douma, the last rebel bastion in eastern Ghouta, en route for northern Syria, Syrian state TV said.
The two buses were due to head to the northern city of Jarablus, under a deal reached between the Syrian government and the rebel group, according to Syrian state media reports on Sunday.
Jaish-al-Islam is reported to be negotiating with the Syrian government for a peace settlement or allowing its fighting to evacuate the city of Douma.
Syrian State television and newspapers report that as part of a deal, the militants would surrender heavy and mid-sized weaponry and affirm the government’s sovereignty over Douma.
Confirmation of such a deal would effectively end fighting in the enclave of Eastern Ghouta that has killed more than 1600 people and injured thousands since the government forces launched an offensive in February this year.