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Observatory head Rami Abdurrahman said the Army of Islam is divided over whether to evacuate Douma, with hard-liners demanding they stay and fight. They headed to Jarablus, a northern Syrian town controlled by Turkish troops and allied Syrian forces.

Over the weekend, members of the armed rebel group Failaq Al-Rahman were evacuated from Douma toward Idlib, Syrian state-run TV reported.

The deal would mark the end of a weeks-long push by the government to consolidate its control of the eastern Ghouta region just outside the capital. Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko, of the Russian military's Reconciliation Center in Syria, said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies that more than 30,000 people have left Douma since Wednesday.

Rebel group Jaish al-Islam, which has not confirmed any deal with the Syrian government over eastern Ghouta, released five prisoners on Wednesday as part of a deal over Douma, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and state media said.

Syrian and Russian forces issued a public ultimatum on Tuesday over the area, saying that the rebels need to either accept state rule or leave.

From the start of the humanitarian pause's introduction in eastern Ghouta, 2,269 militants and their families left Douma, the largest urban centre in the eastern suburbs of Damascus, the ministry said.

The government says it is restoring security to Damascus, which was regularly shelled from eastern Ghouta during the war.

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Meanwhile the Premier of the Northern Cape, Sylvia Lucas has described Madikizela-Mandela also as the mother of the nation. The family said it will release details of her memorial and funeral services when they are finalized.

The Syrian military could not immediately be reached for comment.

Local activists have said that over 100,000 civilians were trapped inside Douma, which suffered devastating damage.

Thousands of rebels, their families and other civilians have already departed other parts of eastern Ghouta for Idlib province, another insurgent-held area of northern Syria.

Russian Federation is a key backer of Assad and supported the latest government offensive.

Assad, who has military support from Iran and Russian Federation, now controls the bulk of Syria, though it may be hard for him to recover much more territory without risking a collision with other foreign powers that have forces inside the country.

A local council for Douma would be formed with the approval of the central government, said the government-linked Central Military Media outlet. Turkey, with support from rebels, is running its own military operations against a US -backed Kurdish party that controls territory along the frontier. Ahmad Ramadan, an opposition figure, revealed on Sunday that Turkey was party to the talks as well.


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