Dozens of militants evacuated from southern Syria

Dozens of militants evacuated from southern Syria
Syrian government forces stand next to a bus which is waiting to evacuate Syrian militants and their families from Beit Jin village, in the southern province of Daraa, Syria. (AP)
Updated 30 December 2017

Dozens of militants evacuated from southern Syria

Dozens of militants evacuated from southern Syria

BEIRUT: Dozens of Syrian militants and their families departed aboard buses from an area besieged by regime forces near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights early Saturday, part of a deal to clear yet another district of insurgents.
The regime-controlled Syrian Central Military Media said 153 people, including 106 fighters, left the village of Beit Jin early Saturday toward the southern province of Daraa.
The Ibaa news agency of the Al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee said six buses carrying fighters and their families arrived in rebel-held parts of Daraa province.
On Friday, Syria’s state news agency SANA said some 300 Al-Qaeda-linked militants and their families would be sent to Daraa and the northwestern province of Idlib.
The evacuation allows the government to reassert control over Beit Jin near the Golan Heights that was captured by Israel from Syria during the 1967 Mideast war.
Israel has publicly warned against the accumulation of Iranian and Iranian-backed forces at its border. Iran has arranged for thousands of militiamen from across the region to fight on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and has sent top commanders to direct its own Revolutionary Guards in the country as well.