New evacuations in southwest Syria as offensive continues

July 21, 2018 - 7:29 am

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists and Syrian media say a new group of rebels and their families are being evacuated from the country's southwest, where the government has gained new ground in its ongoing offensive.

Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 25 buses have arrived Saturday at a crossing point to evacuate those who refuse to accept the government's return to areas they controlled for years. The government-affiliated Central Military media also reported the evacuation, a day after the first group left to the north province Idlib, where the opposition still holds sway.

Over the last month, government forces aided by Russian air power have swept through southwestern Syria to consolidate the government's control over this strategic corner of the country that straddles the border with Jordan and the frontier with Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

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