A member of the Syrian regime forces fires towards rebel positions near the village of Sawwan, south of Khanasser, in the Aleppo governorate on November 19, 2017. AFP / George OURFALIAN
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Syrian rebels prepared to evacuate an enclave in southwestern Syria Friday in a surrender deal with the government, state media said, as the army thrust into the northwest -- the insurgents' main remaining stronghold.Government forces and allied Shiite Muslim militias have forced numerous rebel pockets to surrender since Russia brought in heavy air power to help them in 2015, pushing the insurgents into an ever smaller number of enclaves.The northwestern area around Idlib province is the rebels' most important territory. The army has only recently advanced into Idlib for the first time since a string of rebel victories there evicted the government from the province in early 2015 .
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