Civilians flee eastern Ghouta as rebels prepare last stand against Assad

Civilians flee eastern Ghouta as rebels prepare last stand against Assad
By Robert Hackwill
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Thousands flee expected final assault as rebels lose all but one strongpoint in region close to capital.

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The Syrian opposition's eastern Ghouta enclave is emptying of people, with coaches loaded with civilians leaving under the terms of a Russian-brokered ceasefire. It concerns four towns, Arbin, Zamalka, Ain Terma and Jobar.

Arbin and Jobar will soon be completely abandoned by the rebels, leaving only Douma as their stronghold in the region and suburbs of Damascus that they dominated for the last near-six years.

Rebel positions are now falling like dominos with Syrian media claiming successes daily for the government forces.

As the rebels retreat they leave behind impressive trenches, fortifications, and a tunnel network that helps explain why they were able to hold out for so long.

Syrian soldiers have been entering the complex to show off their spoils of war, in the form of abandoned equipment and ammunition.

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