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rebel evacuations put syrian regime control of damascus area in sight


beirut—a first wave of more than 1,500 syrian rebel fighters began leaving the damascus suburbs on thursday, in what could mark a decisive moment in the assad regime’s monthlong campaign to secure the capital. the evacuation in harasta is the first of its kind since the rebel enclave of eastern ghouta was besieged by syrian regime forces last month, forcing thousands of civilians, including women and children, to flee a relentless ground assault....






evacuations of rebels from last damascus stronghold begins


beirut — hundreds of rebels and their families began leaving a northeastern neighborhood of damascus and heading toward rebel-held areas in northern syria sunday, in another step that would eventually bring all parts of the capital under the control of president bashar assad's forces, state media and opposition activists said.the evacuations from qaboun came a day after government forces and their allies captured most of the area from insurgents who had maintained a presence in the northeastern neighborhood for four years. the departures from qaboun come days after hundreds of opposition fighters were evacuated from the nearby neighborhoods of barzeh and tishrin.after government forces took control of barzeh and tishrin last week and with the expected capture of qaboun in the coming hours






evacuations of rebels from last damascus stronghold begins


beirut (ap) — hundreds of rebels and their families began leaving a northeastern neighborhood of damascus and heading toward rebel-held areas in northern syria sunday, in another step that would eventually bring all parts of the capital under the control of president bashar assad’s forces, state media and opposition activists said.the evacuations from qaboun came a day after government forces and their allies captured most of the area from insurgents who had maintained a presence in the northeastern neighborhood for four years. the departures from qaboun come days after hundreds of opposition fighters were evacuated from the nearby neighborhoods of barzeh and tishrin.after government forces took control of barzeh and tishrin last week and with the expected capture of qaboun in the coming h






syrian regime gains ground in opposition enclave


the syrian regime has seized more than half of a rebel enclave outside damascus that has been under a tightening military and economic siege, part of a final onslaught on one of the last areas held by forces that have fought for seven years to topple president bashar al-assad.the latest advances have split eastern ghouta and made its recapture possibly imminent. taking ghouta would enable the regime to further consolidate control around the capital and move toward its goal of ending the conflict through force rather than...






evacuations of rebels from last damascus stronghold begins


beirut — state media and opposition activists say scores of rebels and their families have begun leaving a northeastern neighborhood of the syrian capital damascus toward rebel-held areas in northern syria.the evacuations from qaboun come a day after government forces and their allies captured most of the area from insurgents.state news agency sana said hundreds of fighters boarded several buses sunday and left toward the northwestern province of idlib. it said those who decide to stay can benefit from a government amnesty and return to normal life.the britain-based syrian observatory for human rights says 20 buses left qaboun and others are expected to follow.the evacuations from qaboun come days after hundreds of opposition fighters were evacuated from the nearby neighborhoods of barzeh






aid workers evacuate critically ill from rebel enclave in syria


aid workers evacuated close to 200 people, including critically ill patients and family members, from a rebel-held damascus suburb on tuesday, after a weekslong assault on the area by syrian regime forces left hospitals in ruins and the health care system severely degraded.around two dozen patients on a list of about 1,000 people deemed to be urgently in need of medical care were evacuated under united nations supervision by the syrian arab red crescent, according to doctors and activists. they were being transferred to hospitals in damascus along with around 170 of their family members.the evacuation was the first since december, when the srian regime of president bashar al-assad allowed nearly 30 patients to leave ghouta under international pressure.nearly 400,000 civilians remain trappe






assad asserts more control over damascus


damascus -- the syrian regime of bashar assad is close to controlling all of damascus for the first time in about five years. hundreds of rebel fighters have evacuated the last part of syria's capital city held by the opposition.cbs news correspondent seth doane says there are reminders everywhere that president assad is in control in the heart of the city. for a regime that does not shy away from propaganda, one of the biggest victories may be closer than ever: controlling not just the center of damascus, but the outskirts, too.playvideocbs evening newsinside syria's capital seth doane is in the capital of syria, damascus, where the syrian army is claiming victory. in a nearby suburb, 1,500 rebels and their families a... assad's army has been bombarding the suburbs of damascus -- destroyi






rebels launch second damascus attack in three days | syria news


syrian rebels stormed a government-held area in northeastern damascus for the second time in three days, sources on both sides said, pressing the boldest assault on the capital by opposition fighters in several years. the spokesman for one of the main rebel groups involved in the attack said the new offensive began at 0300 gmt, targeting an area rebel fighters had seized from government control on sunday before being forced to retreat."we launched the new offensive and we restored all the points we withdrew from on monday. we have fire control over the abassiyin garages and began storming it," wael alwan, spokesman of rebel group failaq al-rahman, told reuters. syrian government hits back at rebels after damascus assaultfailaq al-rahman rebels are fighting alongside fighters from the free






conditions worsen in rebel-held damascus suburb under siege


dozens of people have been killed in airstrikes on the besieged, rebel-held damascus suburb of eastern ghouta since the syrian regime launched a new offensive a week ago, and others are dying from malnutrition and lack of medicine, according to doctors and emergency responders.the attacks come as the latest round of diplomatic talks begins to search for a political solution to end the syrian war. however, residents of eastern ghouta said they weren’t hopeful that talks this week in russia and next week in geneva would alleviate...






thousands of civilians flee besieged rebel-held enclave in syria


thousands of civilians fled eastern ghouta on thursday as syrian regime forces advanced further into the rebel-held enclave near the capital, while turkish forces intensified their assault on the syrian kurdish city of afrin in the north.the unplanned exodus from ghouta marked a significant gain for syrian president bashar al-assad as he presses to consolidate control around damascus. shelling by turkish forces and their allies represented an escalation of a two-month offensive that has put ankara at odds with the u.s. and...






the latest: syria military says it seized damascus suburb


beirut (ap) — the latest on the conflict in syria (all times local):4 p.m.syrian state tv is reporting that the military has captured from rebel fighters a major suburb on the eastern edge of damascus.the opposition britain-based syrian observatory for human rights says rebels remain in control of parts of the qaboun neighborhood, which along with barzeh and jobar, formed an arc from the northern to the eastern edge of damascus.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.the syrian media report says the military recaptured qaboun saturday, as the evacuation of adjacent besieged rebel-held neighborhoods was underway.if confirmed, this increases the government’s security belt around the capital and strips the opposition of another prized territory in the area. rebels had held o






syria conflict: 'huge explosion' rocks damascus airport


a large explosion has hit an area near damascus international airport, the syrian observatory for human rights says."the blast was huge and could be heard in damascus," said rami abdel rahman, head of the uk-based monitoring group.the airport lies about 25 km (15 miles) south-east of syria's capital.the blast was reportedly followed by a large fire. there is no word on casualties. the cause is unclear.syria has been embroiled in a civil war since 2011.the conflict has killed more than 320,000 people and, after more than six years, no political solution to the fighting is in sight.while damascus has remained relatively insulated from the violence, fighting between the military and rebels has erupted near the capital in recent months.last month, there were reports that syrian government forc






russia-ordered 'pause' goes into effect east of damascus


a brief, russia-ordered "humanitarian pause" went into effect on tuesday as syrian and russian forces set up a corridor to allow civilians to leave a rebel-held enclave near damascus, but by the end of the five-hour pause, no civilians had crossed over from the embattled territory.the lull gave a brief respite to the estimated 400,000 residents of besieged eastern ghouta, which has been under intense attack by the syrian government for weeks.the united nations and aid workers criticized the unilateral arrangement, saying the situation was not such that convoys can go in or people in need of medical evacuations can come out of the enclave.the enclave's residents also fear their region would meet the same fate as the eastern, rebel-held half of the city of aleppo, where a similar russian-ord






syria: ceasefire violations reported in eastern ghouta | news


syrian activists have accused bashar al-assad's regime of violating a fragile ceasefire in eastern ghouta, the last remaining rebel stronghold near the capital, damascus.the syrian observatory for human rights (sohr) said at least five rocket and artillery shells targeted the besieged enclave in the early hours of saturday, shortly after a russian-negotiated ceasefire had come into effect.mohammed alloush, a senior member of jaish al-islam, a powerful syrian rebel faction, wrote on twitter: "russia failed in practically applying the truce declared last night in east ghouta. 'elephant' missiles still pounding east ghouta. [they] couldn't stop shooting for even ten minutes."al jazeera's stefanie dekker, reporting from an area near the turkish-syrian border, said eastern ghouta's proximity to






syria army and allied militia press is, rebels in offensive


beirut — syrian government-controlled media and a war monitor say syrian troops and allied militia have pushed back islamic state group militants and rebel fighters in a wide offensive in the country's southern desert.the government advances reported saturday widen its control south of palmyra in homs province, where is had a presence, and secure the highway linking the ancient city to the capital damascus.the syrian central military media says the new advances have also successfully isolated rebel fighters in the desert area east of damascus, denying them advances toward the strategic homs desert area.britain-based syrian observatory for human rights says the government and allied troops have also advanced in areas controlled by u.s-backed syrian opposition fighters in the desert near the






thousands of civilians flee besieged rebel-held enclave in syria


thousands of civilians fled eastern ghouta on thursday as syrian regime forces advanced further into the rebel-held enclave near the capital, while turkish forces intensified their assault on the syrian kurdish city of afrin in the north.the unplanned exodus from ghouta marked a significant gain for syrian president bashar al-assad as he presses to consolidate control around damascus. shelling by turkish forces and their allies represented an escalation of a two-month offensive that has put ankara at odds with the u.s. and other nato allies.more than 10,000 civilians, including thousands of women and children, and an unknown number of armed rebels left hammouria, a town in ghouta, after a night of airstrikes and shelling by the regime that killed dozens of people, according to local activi






rebels leave qaboun as army advances in damascus | syria news


more than 1,500 rebels and their family members left the devastated district of qaboun on the edge of damascus on sunday, as the syrian army and its allies continue to advance in areas in and around the capital, rebels and state media said. hundreds of rebels and their families were evacuated this week from the adjacent barzeh district after rebels there decided to lay down their arms and leave to rebel-held idlib province.syrian state media said evacuations had almost been completed and the district was now securely in army hands.can the 'de-escalation' plan in syria work? - inside storythe evacuation will see rebels and civilians move to idlib, an opposition stronghold in northwestern syria. the loss of qaboun so soon after barzeh is another blow to rebels as they battle to keep a footho






rebels leave qaboun as army advances in damascus | syria news


more than 1,500 rebels and their family members left the devastated district of qaboun on the edge of damascus on sunday, as the syrian army and its allies continue to advance in areas in and around the capital, rebels and state media said. hundreds of rebels and their families were evacuated this week from the adjacent barzeh district after rebels there decided to lay down their arms and leave to rebel-held idlib province.syrian state media said evacuations had almost been completed and the district was now securely in army hands.can the 'de-escalation' plan in syria work? - inside storythe evacuation will see rebels and civilians move to idlib, an opposition stronghold in northwestern syria. the loss of qaboun following barzeh is another blow to rebels as they battle to keep a foothold i






syria war: un expects eastern ghouta civilian evacuations | news


the united nations is expecting civilian evacuations out of rebel-held eastern ghouta on tuesday, as the syrian government military continues its fierce offensive on the enclave."this day, we are expecting evacuation of civilians, including people with medical conditions," ali al-zatari, the un's top aid official in syria, told reuters news agency at al-wafideen crossing, without elaborating.the un has previously called for the evacuation of nearly 1,000 sick and wounded residents who need urgent medical treatment.jaish al-islam, one of the main rebel groups in eastern ghouta, said on monday it had reached an agreement with the government's key ally, russia, to evacuate wounded people. no other details about the evacuation were given. hamza birqdar, the group's military spokesman, vowed on






syria army and allied militia press is, rebels in offensive


beirut (ap) — syrian government-controlled media and a war monitor say syrian troops and allied militia have pushed back islamic state group militants and rebel fighters in a wide offensive in the country’s southern desert.the government advances reported saturday widen its control south of palmyra in homs province, where is had a presence, and secure the highway linking the ancient city to the capital damascus.the syrian central military media says the new advances have also successfully isolated rebel fighters in the desert area east of damascus, denying them advances toward the strategic homs desert area.britain-based syrian observatory for human rights says the government and allied troops have also advanced in areas controlled by u.s-backed syrian opposition fighters in the desert nea






syria war: eastern ghouta medical evacuations begin


image copyrighticrcimage caption the icrc published pictures of ambulances brought in to carry out the evacuation medical evacuations have begun in a rebel-held suburb of the syrian capital damascus, the red cross has said.in a tweet, it said that "critical" patients were being moved from the eastern ghouta area to the capital. last week, a uk charity said president bashar al-assad had been considering a request to evacuate seven children with cancer from the area, which has been under government siege for four years.they are among more than 130 children needing urgent medical treatment there.nearly 12% of children in eastern ghouta - which has a total population of 400,000 - are suffering from acute malnutrition, the un has said.on tuesday evening, the international committee of the red c






aid workers evacuate critically ill from rebel enclave in syria


aid workers evacuated close to 200 people, including critically ill patients and family members, from a rebel-held damascus suburb on tuesday, after a weekslong assault on the area by syrian regime forces left hospitals in ruins and the health care system severely degraded.around two dozen patients on a list of about 1,000 people deemed to be urgently in need of medical care were evacuated under united nations supervision by the syrian arab red crescent, according to doctors and activists. they were being transferred to hospitals...






aid workers evacuate critically ill from rebel enclave in syria


aid workers evacuated close to 200 people, including critically ill patients and family members, from a rebel-held damascus suburb on tuesday, after a weekslong assault on the area by syrian regime forces left hospitals in ruins and the health care system severely degraded.around two dozen patients on a list of about 1,000 people deemed to be urgently in need of medical care were evacuated under united nations supervision by the syrian arab red crescent, according to doctors and activists. they were being transferred to hospitals...






syrian army retakes damascus areas captured by rebels


beirut — syrian government forces on monday regained control of parts of damascus that were attacked and captured by rebels and militants the previous day, with the two-day fighting leaving dozens dead on both sides, the military and an activist group said.the sudden rebel seizure of territory in the syrian capital — and the manner in which the attack that took place overnight and into sunday, with rebels sneaking into the city through underground tunnels and using car bombs — reflected the insurgents' most serious infiltration into damascus in years.the levant liberation committee, a coalition of several militant groups led by al-qaida's branch in syria, and the independent failaq al-rahman faction spearheaded the blitz that caught the syrian military off guard.insurgent groups have repea






pressure on civilians in syria’s eastern ghouta increases as assault intensifies


the syrian regime’s assault on a rebel-held enclave near the capital has left civilians with the stark choice of joining thousands who are fleeing across frontlines or hunkering down in basements with little food and uncertainty about their fate.airstrikes on friday killed at least 57 people, including nine children, in kafar batna, a town in eastern ghouta, as syrian regime forces advanced deeper into the damascus suburb, according to local doctors and activists. the ground advance spurred an unplanned exodus of at least 10,000 people, including women and children, on foot a day earlier. on friday, hundreds more followed, according to united nations and syrian observatory for human rights estimates.“people just want to get out of this hell,” said amer almohibany, a local activist in ghout






syrian troops cut major roads in suburbs of damascus


beirut — syrian government forces succeeded saturday in their deepest push yet into the eastern suburbs of the capital damascus, cutting off a major highway that made it hard to move between three parts of the rebel-held area, and inflicting a major blow to opposition fighters who have vowed not to surrender.syrian state media and an opposition monitoring group said government forces have laid siege on the rebel-held town of harasta, cutting it off from the rest of the suburbs known as eastern ghouta.britain-based syrian observatory for human rights said government forces have also cut off the main highway that links northern ghouta with its southern parts, isolating the town of douma, the largest in the area.the government-controlled syrian central military media said troops captured the






syrian troops cut major roads in suburbs of damascus


beirut (ap) — syrian government forces succeeded saturday in their deepest push yet into the eastern suburbs of the capital damascus, cutting off a major highway that made it hard to move between three parts of the rebel-held area, and inflicting a major blow to opposition fighters who have vowed not to surrender.syrian state media and an opposition monitoring group said government forces have laid siege on the rebel-held town of harasta, cutting it off from the rest of the suburbs known as eastern ghouta.britain-based syrian observatory for human rights said government forces have also cut off the main highway that links northern ghouta with its southern parts, isolating the town of douma, the largest in the area.the government-controlled syrian central military media said troops captured






syrian army retakes damascus areas captured by rebels


this march 22, 2012 file photo shows general view of damascus, syria. syrian state tv said monday, march 20, 2017 that government forces have regained control of parts of damascus that were attacked and captured by rebels and militants the previous day.(photo: muzaffar salman, ap) 3 connectlinkedinemailmorebeirut - syrian government forces on monday regained control of parts of damascus that were attacked and captured by rebels and militants the previous day, with the two-day fighting leaving dozens dead on both sides, the military and an activist group said.the sudden rebel seizure of territory in the syrian capital — and the manner in which the attack that took place overnight and into sunday, with rebels sneaking into the city through underground tunnels and using car bombs — reflected






syrian army retakes damascus areas captured by rebels


this march 22, 2012 file photo shows general view of damascus, syria. syrian state tv said monday, march 20, 2017 that government forces have regained control of parts of damascus that were attacked and captured by rebels and militants the previous day.(photo: muzaffar salman, ap) 4 connectlinkedinemailmorebeirut - syrian government forces on monday regained control of parts of damascus that were attacked and captured by rebels and militants the previous day, with the two-day fighting leaving dozens dead on both sides, the military and an activist group said.the sudden rebel seizure of territory in the syrian capital — and the manner in which the attack that took place overnight and into sunday, with rebels sneaking into the city through underground tunnels and using car bombs — reflected






syrian army retakes damascus areas captured by rebels


beirut — syrian government forces on monday regained control of parts of damascus that were attacked and captured by rebels and militants the previous day, with dozens killed on both sides during the fighting, the military and an activist group said.the surprise rebel incursion, in which fighters sneaked into the city through hidden tunnels and set off car bombs, was the most serious infiltration in years into president bashar assad's seat of power.the levant liberation committee, a coalition of several militant groups led by al-qaida's branch in syria, and the independent failaq al-rahman faction spearheaded the blitz, which caught the syrian military off guard.insurgent groups have repeatedly tried to break the defenses of damascus in recent years. sunday's incursion, however, was the mo






france says syrian government likely using chlorine gas


paris (ap) — france says the syrian government is likely using chlorine gas in its latest attacks on rebel-held areas.foreign minister jean-yves le drian told bfm tv on wednesday that “all indications show us today that the syrian regime is using chlorine gas at the moment.”the government and its ally russia have been pounding a besieged rebel-held area outside damascus for the last two days with airstrikes, killing dozens of people.a u.n.-mandated investigator said tuesday his team was probing reports that bombs allegedly containing weaponized chlorine have been used on two recent occasions in syria.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.“an investigation has been opened on that matter by the united nations,” le drian said. “the threat of using chemical weapons remains,






syria war: eastern ghouta medical evacuations begin


image copyrightreutersimage caption three children were reportedly among the first four patients evacuated overnight medical evacuations are taking place from a rebel-held area on the outskirts of the syrian capital, damascus.four critically-ill patients were reportedly taken out of the eastern ghouta overnight by teams from the international committee of the red cross and syrian arab red crescent.another 25 are expected to be evacuated in the coming days, though hundreds more are in urgent need of treatment.some 400,000 residents have been under siege by government forces since 2013.the eastern ghouta has been designated a "de-escalation zone" by russia and iran, the government's main allies, along with turkey, which backs the opposition.but hostilities intensified six weeks ago, when the






syria war: damascus sees fierce clashes after rebel attack


image copyrightafpimage caption rebel-held areas on the outskirts of damascus have been extensively damaged in recent months syrian security forces are engaged in fierce clashes with rebels on the eastern outskirts of the capital damascus, residents say.artillery shells and rockets landed inside the heart of the city as part of a surprise rebel attack, they say.the insurgents detonated two suicide car bombs in jobar district before trying to storm government defence lines, observers said.the military responded to the attack with air strikes. syrian state media says secret tunnels were also used to launch the assault in jobar. deadly attack on damascus court complexsyria's war shows no sign of endingsix decisive points that changed syria's warrisking all to escapedamascus only has a few opp






syria war: damascus sees fierce clashes after rebel attack


image copyrightafpimage caption rebel-held areas on the outskirts of damascus have been extensively damaged in recent months syrian security forces are engaged in fierce clashes with rebels on the eastern outskirts of the capital damascus, residents say.artillery shells and rockets landed inside the heart of the city as part of a surprise rebel attack, they say.the insurgents detonated two suicide car bombs in jobar district before trying to storm government defence lines, observers said.the military responded to the attack with air strikes. syrian state media says secret tunnels were also used to launch the assault in jobar. deadly attack on damascus court complexsyria's war shows no sign of endingsix decisive points that changed syria's warrisking all to escapedamascus only has a few opp






syria war: damascus sees fierce clashes after rebel attack


image copyrightafpimage caption rebel-held areas on the outskirts of damascus have been extensively damaged in recent months syrian security forces are engaged in fierce clashes with rebels on the eastern outskirts of the capital damascus, residents say.artillery shells and rockets landed inside the heart of the city as part of a surprise rebel attack, they say.the insurgents detonated two suicide car bombs in jobar district before trying to storm government defence lines, observers said.the military responded to the attack with air strikes. syrian state media says secret tunnels were also used to launch the assault in jobar. deadly attack on damascus court complexsyria's war shows no sign of endingsix decisive points that changed syria's warrisking all to escapedamascus only has a few opp






limited medical evacuations from syria's eastern ghouta | news


at least 150 civilians requiring urgent medical treatment have been evacuated from opposition-held eastern ghouta, the current major battleground in syria's seven-year war. they were evacuated on tuesday under a deal reached between jaish al-islam, one of the largest opposition groups in the area, and russia - the syrian government's principal ally. according to the syrian observatory for human rights (sohr) - a uk-based war monitor - the evacuees were taken to shelters under government control in other parts of the damascus suburbs. the area, which is a suburb of the capital, damascus, where the government of president bashar al-assad sits, has been under siege by the latter's forces since mid-2013. {articleguid}eastern ghouta, home to 400,000 people, has been under international spotligh






tpp: with trump out, is china in?


(image: cbsnews.com) with the trans-pacific partnership (tpp) having been dumped by new united states president donald trump on his first week in office, the question remains as to whether the remaining signatories will attempt to push through the deal by themselves or with china's aid -- or whether they will instead use a chinese-led deal.latest australian news the tpp, signed by its 12 member states in february 2016, was designed to regulate trade between the us, australia, new zealand, canada, singapore, vietnam, malaysia, japan, mexico, peru, brunei, and chile. however, with us withdrawal, it cannot come into force, as it was negotiated under the condition that a minimum of six countries with a combined gdp of 85 percent of the 12 signatories must ratify it. as the us accounts for 60 p