Syrian security forces enter the town of Rastan in the central Homs province on May 16, 2018 after rebels and their relatives were evacuated. AFP / Louai Beshara
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Syria's military said Wednesday that it has restored government control over a large area in central Syria, securing a power station, a refinery and a cement factory after uprooting the opposition. With the latest military victory, Syrian government forces secure roads between the country's three main cities – Damascus, Aleppo and Homs – for the first time since the civil war began in 2011 . The surrender in Northern Homs and Southern Hama adds to what has been described as one of the largest population shifts in Syria since the conflict began.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the last of seven batches of displaced left the area Wednesday in a convoy, bringing the total evacuated to 34,500 people, including fighters and civilians, who have departed to other rebel-held areas in Northern Syria.In Syria, Russia has a naval military base located in Tartous and an air base at Hmeimim.
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