Syrian rebel group begins to leave last bastion in eastern Ghouta - state media

The move is the first such withdrawal of Failaq al Rahman fighters from besieged Douma, where the dominant rebel group Jaish al Islam is still negotiating a deal with Russia over surrender terms.

A member of Syria's pro-government forces walks past damaged structures in the town of Mudyara, formerly held by opposition groups, in the centre of the eastern Ghouta region as regime troops carry on with their assault on the rebel-held enclave, just outside the capital Damascus. Picture: AFP

AMMAN - A group of Syrian rebel fighters began on Sunday to leave their last bastion in eastern Ghouta to head to insurgent-held Idlib in northwestern Syria, state media said.

The move is the first such withdrawal of Failaq al Rahman fighters from besieged Douma, where the dominant rebel group Jaish al Islam is still negotiating a deal with Russia over surrender terms that gives them the option of leaving the enclave or making peace with the Syrian authorities.

A deal was reached last night by a negotiating committee to evacuate wounded Jaish al Islam civilians and fighters to northwestern Syria, but it was not clear if it was part of a broader deal that includes in later stages the pullout of fighters.