ISIL withdraws from main strongholds in Damascus after clashes with Syria rebels

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Syria rebels celebrating in Yilda town near Damascus following ISIL withdrawal. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Damascus, Syria – After nearly a month of control, about eighty militants of al-Qaeda splinter group of the Islamic State (previously known as ‘ISIL’) have surrendered their weapons to the anti-Assad rebels of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the town of Yilda in Damascus suburbs.

One week of fierce clashes enabled the FSA fighters (backed by Jabhat al-Nusra rebel group) to defeat ISIL and force its militants to withdraw from the town towards al-Hajar al-Aswad district in southern Damascus.

Local sources in Yilda told ARA News that the FSA completely controlled the town on Tuesday evening.

The Islamic State’s militants have earlier withdrawn from Yarmouk district (where Palestinian refugees constitute a majority) and were replaced by the FSA rebels.

Withdrawing from Yilda and Yarmouk means, according to observers, that the Islamic State (ISIL) has lost its main strongholds south of the Syrian capital.

Activists in Yilda town published a video on Monday showing fighters of the FSA and Jabhat al-Nusra in the streets of Yilda following the withdrawal of ISIL militants. The video also showed warehouses filled with food supplies which were reportedly seized by ISIL group, while civilians were suffering sharp shortage of food and basic items.

 

Reporting by: Jawad al-Ali

Source: ARA News

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