Rebel group Jaish al-Islam said the decision to evacuate the fighters was made in consultation with the U.N. and other international parties. AFP / Hamza AL-AJWEH
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The Syrian rebel group Jaish al-Islam said Friday that it had agreed to evacuate Nusra Front militants being held in its prisons in besieged Eastern Ghouta to rebel-held Idlib province.Mohammad Alloush, the political chief of Jaish al-Islam, told pan-Arab television channel Al-Arabiya al-Hadath Friday that the number of Nusra militants in Eastern Ghouta does not exceed "a few hundred".Ghouta has been besieged for years, but in the last two weeks, the Syrian army has retaken nearly all the farmland in Eastern Ghouta under cover of near-ceaseless shelling and airstrikes, leaving only a dense sprawl of towns – about half the territory – still under insurgent control.An emergency aid convoy Friday crossed front lines into the besieged rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta and delivered its supplies.The convoy entered during a brief lull but the bombardment and fighting resumed after the convoy entered Eastern Ghouta. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that Turkey's military and its rebel allies have besieged the northern Syrian town of Afrin and were nearing its town center, which would mark a major advance in Turkey's military operation.
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