IS kills 19 regime fighters in east Syria: monitor

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Thousands of Christians in Aleppo & across Syria turn out for Easter celebrations (PHOTO, VIDEO)

State television said buses carrying 448 people, including fighters of the Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam) group and their families, left Ghouta's main town of Douma on April 2. Just 11 kilometres (7 miles) from the Old City of Damascus, it was part of the capital's Ghouta hinterland, once famed for its orchards and produce.

"Turkey will not hesitate to use initiative if terrorists in Manbij are not driven away", a statement on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's presidential website last week read, warning the United States whose special forces there in the northern Syrian town continue to work with Kurdish-led groups.

The deal brokered by regime ally Russian Federation would see fighters with the Jaish al-Islam rebel faction leave Ghouta's main town of Douma for opposition-held territory in northern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Syrian boys, right, sit on a pickup flash victory signs, as they pass next of a USA vehicle troops, left, on a road leading to the tense front line with Turkish-backed fighters, in Manbij, north Syria, Saturday, March 31, 2018.

Assad, who has military support from Iran and Russian Federation, now controls the bulk of Syria, though it may be hard for him to recover much more territory without risking a collision with other foreign powers that have forces inside the country.

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After learning of Ingraham's Easter break, Hogg tweeted he hoped she would have some "healthy reflections" during Holy Week. By Friday afternoon, at least 12 advertisers had pulled their support from her show.

The comments came on the same day the Syrian army had declared "victory" against rebel groups in Eastern Ghouta.

Jaish al-Islam, which has been defending the eastern Ghouta town of Douma against a ferocious onslaught by Russian-backed Assad regime forces, has not confirmed the agreement with the regime.

The Syrian army command said on Saturday it had regained most of the towns and villages in eastern Ghouta and was pressing its military operations in Douma.

It says a local council for Douma will be formed with the approval of the central government.

It was the first organized evacuation of fighters from Douma, which has held out against government forces through 7 years of war. He says, however, that "humanitarian cases" will be allowed to evacuate on Monday.

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Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states in northeast Nigeria are the three states most affected by the Boko Haram militancy. Involved in the Dapchi abduction was the so-called Al-Barnawi faction. "Dealing with them is quite problematic".

"If they intend to support terrorist elements or provide direct or indirect protection through their armed forces, this would be a truly calamitous step", Turkey's Defense Minister said during a visit to the country's northeastern province of Giresun on Sunday.

It would also secure Assad's seat of power in Damascus, whose eastern neighborhoods had been the target of an nearly daily barrage of mortars and rockets since the rebels overran Ghouta in late 2012. Ahmad Ramadan, an opposition figure, revealed on Sunday that Turkey was party to the talks as well.

Jaish al-Islam has previously said it would not leave Douma and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group reported divisions within its ranks.

Two members of the US -led coalition fighting the so-called Islamic State were killed and five others were wounded by an improvised explosive device in northern Syria late on Thursday.

Abu Ali Nejm, a commander in the Kurdish-held town of Manbij, said reports of the relocation of the Army of Islam to the nearby town of Jarablus were troubling. "But there are currently reinforcements from the coalition forces and things are now ok".

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