Syria rebels prepare to quit enclave on Damascus doorstep

Russian strikes kill 37 in E Ghouta

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main ally in the conflict, ordered daily five-hour ceasefires and the creation of a "humanitarian corridor" to allow civilians to leave Eastern Ghouta.

Taking control of Eastern Ghouta would completely secure the capital that has been suffering from the rebels' mortar and rocket attacks for seven years.

As the weekend nears, the Syrian military is approaching a complete victory in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta.

The Takfiris have handed over their heavy weapons to Syrian government troops before leaving Harasta towards militant-held areas in the northwestern province of Idlib.

Faylaq al-Rahman, the Islamist rebel group that controls the area, agreed to pull out in exchange for an end to almost five weeks of devastating bombardment by the government and its allies.

Another batch of evacuations from Harasta began on Friday, but it remained unclear how much time would be needed to bus out the thousands of remaining rebels and civilians.

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Harasta's evacuation - which began Thursday - came as part of a deal negotiated by Russian Federation.

On the regime-held side of Harasta, an AFP correspondent said Syrian soldiers fired celebratory gunshots into the air after they heard of the deal to evacuate the second pocket of the enclave.

Syrian state TV said Faylaq al-Rahman will hand over maps of underground tunnels as well as others marking mines planted by the group in areas it controlled.

The War Media, the media wing of the Syrian army, reported that the Failaq al-Rahman rebels, or the Rahman Legion, declared a cease-fire in the central part of Eastern Ghouta as of midnight Friday.

A prisoner exchange will take place between the group and the government, the group added.

Meanwhile, the War Media said a total of 3,500 kidnapped people are expected to be released from the rebel-held Douma district in Eastern Ghouta on Friday night.

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AFP video and pictures from Douma, which is controlled by the Salafist rebel faction Jaish Al Islam, showed bright white streams falling from the sky in a fashion consistent with incendiary munitions.

On Saturday, hundreds more left Douma to government-controlled areas including 700 government supporters that the rebel group had been holding for years, according to SCMM.

The rebels said in a statement Friday that the agreement will allow humanitarian aid and medical care to be delivered to civilians in the area, who have lived through years of occupation and almost nonstop fighting as of late.

The civilians have been fleeing out of Eastern Ghouta since March 14, and the number kept increasing whenever the Syrian army captured new areas in that sprawling area.

Four major rebel groups are now positioned inside Eastern Ghouta, namely the Islam Army, Failaq al-Rahman, Ahrar al-Sham, and the Levant Liberation Committee, known as the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front.

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