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.

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The 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 foothold in the capital and face government troops who are supported by Russian air power and Iranian-backed militias.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimated that government forces have taken back most of the neighbourhood, leaving around 20 percent still under the control of rebel groups Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam and the Rahman Corps. ……More Here