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Syrian rebels agree to surrender enclave near Homs, state media says

Rebel groups have agreed to surrender an enclave near Homs in western Syria, ...

Posted: May 2, 2018 8:24 AM
Updated: May 2, 2018 8:24 AM

Rebel groups have agreed to surrender an enclave near Homs in western Syria, Syrian government media reported Tuesday.

A reporter from SANA, Syria's state-run news organization, says the "terrorists" from the northern countryside of Homs and the southern countryside of Hama must leave with their families.

SANA said the agreement provides for settling the status of militants who are willing to do so, the entry of the Syrian Arab army into the region, the return of all state institutions and departments, and the opening of the international highway that connects Homs and Hama. Hama is about 45 kilometers (28 miles) from Homs.

The agreement says the rebels will hand over maps of tunnels, landmines and ammunition dumps, SANA said.

Last week dozens of buses carrying Syrian rebel fighters and their families left East Qalamoun, north of Damascus, under a similar agreement with the Syrian and Russian forces.

The regime says it regained control earlier this month of Eastern Ghouta in the suburbs of Damascus, where the United Nations reports about 160,000 people were evacuated between March 9 and April 15.

Homs is Syria's third-largest city and was known as the "capital of the revolution" after mass demonstrations against the government in 2011.

The US State Department announced Tuesday that it's working with the Global Coalition and local partners, including Syrian Democratic Forces, to launch operations to liberate the final ISIS strongholds in Syria.

Most of Syria's rebels have been taken to Northern Syria as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad tightens his grip on them after seven years of civil war.

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