Deal struck for rebels' final pullout from Syria's Ghouta

Syrian government soldiers walk down a street past destroyed buildings in the town of Hazzeh in Eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus

Tens of thousands of other civilians have fled to regime-held territory.

Army units combing the villages and towns of Eastern Ghouta have found field hospitals, medical equipment, and an advanced network of underground tunnels left behind by the retreating terrorists.

Following tough negotiations held between both parties, Jaish al-Islam and Moscow reached a final deal to evacuate fighters and civilians from the city of Douma, the last rebel-held bastion in the Eastern Ghouta enclave, opening the way for regime forces to capture the entire area.

That announcement came after Syria's state news agency SANA reported the southern pocket of Eastern Ghouta was "empty of terrorism" as the last buses left it on Saturday afternoon, March 31.

Some 1,300 fighters, activists, and civilians signed up to leave the town, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

Faylaq al Rahman did not have a significant presence in the Douma.

President Donald Trump said he wants USA troops to leave Syria soon and will make a decision "very quickly" on how much longer they will stay, as his administration's policy on its seven-year civil war remains in limbo.

Fighters from Failaq al-Rahman, a second rebel group that evacuated most of the towns under its control inside the enclave on Saturday, appeared to be the first to quit Douma on Sunday, giving some credence to the claims of a deal clearing the way for fighters to leave.

Lavrov's comments welcoming Trump's eagerness to leave Syria come as Russian Federation and Syria have been clearing out the last remnants of armed rebel groups that once largely controlled the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta through a series of negotiated pull-outs.

"There are divisions among the Jaish al-Islam group on their leaving but we are continuing preparations", the military source told AFP.

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In the spring of 2015, it held a massive military parade that included thousands of opposition fighters marching in formation and a striking display of tanks and armored vehicles at the doors of the Syrian capital.

Opposition sources say Jaish al Islam officials have been desperately trying to strike a deal that would bring Russian military police into Douma, and let the group keep a role in maintaining internal security but under the state's overall jurisdiction.

A local council for Douma would be formed with the approval of Damascus, said the regime-linked Central Military Media outlet.

Reports late on Saturday said an initial deal had been made to evacuate wounded people from the town. Trump reportedly ordered the funding to be frozen after reading a report about it in The Washington Post, U.S. officials told Reuters. "Very soon - very soon we're coming out", Trump said in a speech in the Midwestern U.S. state of OH without offering details.

These include the areas of Jarabulus and Al-Bab, which are largely held by pro-Turkey rebels, it said.

He added, however, that "humanitarian cases" would be allowed to evacuate on Monday.

Officials told AFP that Trump's aside in his speech was not a slip, but that for several weeks he had been pushing back against the idea of a long or medium term U.S. commitment to stabilizing eastern Syria.

Ahmad Ramadan, a prominent opposition figure in exile, told the Saudi TV channel Al Arabiya that the Jaish al Islam was still engaged in talks with Russian Federation over the future of the town.

At least 1,600 people have been killed following the launch of an aerial and ground offensive by Syrian forces and their ally, Russia, on February 18, to recapture what was once known as Damascus' breadbasket.

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