Syrian soldiers walk at the entrance of Daraya, a blockaded Damascus suburb, on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. (AP Photo)
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In nearby Moadamieh the government has laid down an ultimatum: evacuate the fighters or face a military assault, according to rebels in the town.In Homs, like Daraya an early center of the uprising, two days of heavy bombing forced rebels in Waer to recommence stalled talks on a similar deal, fighters there say.The fall of Daraya, whose inhabitants were evacuated through a deal with the government, dealt a major psychological blow to the opposition while encouraging the army to believe it was in reach of subduing rebel bastions around the heavily fortified capital.The defense of the capital, just northeast of Daraya and where the army's best equipped forces are entrenched, is pivotal for the survival of Assad.But unlike in the symbolically important but comparatively isolated rebel pockets in Daraya and Moadamieh, the insurgents in the capital's Eastern Ghouta district of towns and farms hold a large, contiguous area under their own local administration.That has stopped successive military campaigns by the army to recapture the rebel stronghold of Douma, the area's largest urban center.
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