Syrian pro-government forces maneuver an armored vehicle as they advance through Qabun district, on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, on May 13, 2017, during an offensive to retake the area from opposition fighters. / AFP / STRINGER
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Syria's government is close to cementing its control over the entire capital under local deals with rebels after a six-year war that has ravaged suburbs of Damascus and caused population displacements.Rebels have evacuated some of the last Damascus districts under their control, shattering their dream of one day seizing the capital and toppling a five-decade-old government.The capital, with its approximately 1.6 million inhabitants, has largely been insulated from the civil war and has endured far less destruction than other major hubs such as Aleppo and the city of Homs in northern Syria."The regime now plans to swallow up Jobar in the next phase before setting its sights on Eastern Ghouta," Alloush said.He said the evacuations were a "betrayal" after backers of the government and rebels signed a deal in the Kazakh capital earlier this month aimed at paving the way towards a lasting ceasefire in Syria.The government has long touted "reconciliation deals" as the best way to end the conflict and views the latest evacuations as a success.
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