Ceasefire in Syria after south Damascus battles

War milestone: Syrian army declares complete control of Damascus after ousting Islamic State in devastating battle

War milestone: Syrian army declares complete control of Damascus after ousting Islamic State in devastating battle

Pro-Syrian government forces have been battling for weeks to recover al-Hajar al-Aswad district and the adjacent Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp since driving rebels from eastern Ghouta in April.

After the final convoy of militants left, the government released a statement saying, "The Syrian General Command of the Army and Armed Forces announced Damascus and Damascus countryside entirely safe areas after fully cleansing al-Hajar al-Aswad and al-Yarmouk Camp of terrorism".

A temporary humanitarian ceasefire had been in place since Sunday night in al-Hajar al-Aswad to allow women, children and old people leave, state media said early on Monday.

But after years of civil war, Syrian regime operations and incursions by militant groups into the camp, the population of Yarmouk, once as high as 160,000 people, has dwindled dramatically, with the void being filled by militants and trapped civilians.

But in a first official comment on evacuations, a military source said Monday that a brief ceasefire had allowed some civilians to be transferred out overnight.

A spokesman for the Action Group for Palestinians in Syria (AGPS), a London-based monitoring group with correspondents in south Damasus, confirmed reports of an evacuation of IS fighters in conversation with Syria Direct on Monday.

"The Daesh terrorist organization is living its last hours" in the Damascus area, the TV's reporter said, using an Arabic acronym to refer to IS.

Syria's war erupted in 2011 with protests against President Bashar Assad, including in the capital.

Khaled Abdul-Majid, a leader of the government-allied Palestinian Resistance Factions Coalition told The Associated Press that there was still a small group of IS fighters on the southern edge of Yarmouk.

Monday's reported SAA capture of south Damascus came in the wake of reports that IS fighters were evacuated from their positions in the capital over the weekend under an agreement with government forces.

The announcement that the Islamic State group has been ousted marks a milestone in the war and comes after government troops captured a southern part of Damascus and the Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk.

They had left toward the Syrian Badia, a sparsely populated expanse of territory east of the capital that extends to the border with Jordan and Iraq, it said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Assad at a meeting in Sochi last week that a political settlement in Syria should encourage foreign countries to withdraw their troops from Syria.

"Our presence in Syria has been based on a request by the Syrian government and Iran will continue its support as long as the Syrian government wants", he said, speaking shortly before Pompeo made his remarks.

Russian Federation and Iran have been Mr. Assad's strongest backers and joined the war on his side.

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