Fire and smoke gush out of buildings following clashes between Syrian government forces and militants in the besieged Syrian city of Darayya, near the capital Damascus, on August 16, 2016. ©AFP
Hundreds of foreign-sponsored militants are expected to leave a besieged suburb of the Syrian capital Damascus within the next few days under an accord struck with the government forces.
Seven hundred armed men will depart Darayya, situated eight kilometers (five miles) southwest of Damascus, to the northwestern city of Idlib, after they handed over their medium-caliber and heavy weapons to the army soldiers, Syria’s official SANA news agency reported.
The report added that thousands of male and female residents of Darayya would then be relocated to temporary accommodation centers scattered in Damascus neighborhoods and surrounding areas.
A military source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the army would enter Darayya after the militants evacuate the city.
Abu Jamal, a militant commander, said the evacuation would start on Friday and last for two or three days.
Jamal’s group together with the Ajnad al-Sham (Soldiers of the Levant) terrorist outfit control Darayya.
The report comes as Syrian army units have stepped up their clean-up operations against Takfiri militants both inside and around Darayya over the past few days, pounding terrorist positions and inflicting heavy losses on militant ranks.
Darayya has been under siege since November 2012. It has become one of the most heavily-bombed militant-held areas during Syria's conflict, which is now in its sixth year.
A convoy of trucks from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the UN delivered food supplies to its residents in June.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
Back in 2014, the UN said it would no more update its official death toll for Syria.

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