Syrian government forces have wrested full control of a city near the capital Damascus after foreign-sponsored Takfiri extremists agreed to withdraw from the area in exchange for safe passage to militant-held regions in the northwestern city of Idlib
The Russian Defense Ministry announced in a statement on Sunday that over 500 Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, militants and 1,500 members of their families, have pulled out of al-Tall, located about 10 kilometers northeast of the capital.
The statement added that the militants used the opportunity offered by the amnesty declared by President Bashar al-Assad last week, stopped fighting and agreed through negotiations to leave for Idlib, which lies roughly 300 kilometers (186 miles) north of Damascus, 44 onboard dozens of buses provided by the government.
Before their departure, the militants handed in their heavy military equipment plus more than 200 units of small arms and light weapons.
The development came only two days after the Russian military’s Center for Reconciliation in Syria said government troops had recaptured Khan al-Shih, located about 25 kilometers southwest of Damascus, after foreign-backed gunmen departed the area and moved to Idlib.
Khan al-Shih had been under the control of foreign-backed militants since 2012, Press TV reported.