Russia: Syrian troops reclaim city near Damascus

AP , Friday 2 Dec 2016

The Russian military says the Syrian government has taken over a city just outside of the capital after a rebel retreat.

The military's Center for Reconciliation in Syria said the government took full control of Khan al-Shih just southwest of Damascus Thursday. It said that rebel groups that had controlled the town since 2012 left it this week under a deal with authorities.

It said in Friday's statement that 1,846 rebels and 1,164 of their relatives had moved to the rebel-held city of Idlib in northern Syria in buses provided by the government. It said another 100 rebels and 300 members of their families will depart for Idlib in the coming days.

Russia-backed Syrian government forces also have won significant gains this week in the rebel-held eastern part of Aleppo.

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