Syrian rebel fighters lay down weapons and leave another town

Syrian rebel fighters lay down weapons and leave another town

Syrian government air strikes and artillery fire have pounded areas held by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group in the south of Damascus, according to state media and war monitors.

The development heralds another advance for President Bashar al-Assad's push to retake remaining enclaves and strengthen his position around the capital after retaking eastern Ghouta this month.

Assad is in his strongest place since early within the seven-year warfare regardless of US, British and French air strikes on April 14 - their first coordinated motion within the warfare.

In the nearby enclave of Eastern Qalamoun, which consists of several towns and an area of hills and has also been covered by an informal ceasefire, rebels said they were also negotiating a withdrawal deal with Russian Federation.

However the single volley of raids, hitting three targets removed from any frontline, had no impact on the broader warfare which has killed 500,000 individuals and made greater than half of Syrians homeless.

Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said that the Syrian government is responsible for delays in inspectors reaching sites of a suspected chemical weapons attack.

The camp was home to some 160,000 Palestinians before the Syrian conflict began in 2011, refugees from the 1948 war of Israel's founding, and their descendents.

Gunmen also detonated an explosive device during Tuesday's mysterious assault, forcing the security team to retreat back to Damascus, the AP said, citing the head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

However, the Islam Army and allied militants still control some pockets in the eastern part of the Qalamoun region north of Damascus.

Recovering the Yarmouk camp and neighbouring areas south of the city would give Assad complete control over Syria's capital. The report says 1,500 rebels and 3,500 of their next of kin are to leave Dumayr for the town of Jarablus, near the Turkish border. He said it was not clear why the deal appeared to have fallen through. Although most residents have fled, the United Nations says several thousand remain.

"There are reports that large numbers of people have been displaced from Yarmouk Camp to the neighbouring area of Yalda", said Gunness.

Rebels on Thursday began pulling out of Dumair, an enclave northeast of Damascus, under a surrender deal with the regime. Insurgents in one other enclave close by - Jap Qalamoun - stated that they had additionally agreed to withdraw.

The UN has voiced concern that such "evacuations" involve the displacement of civilians under threat of reprisals or forced conscription, though the regime denies that.

They hold pockets in Deir Ezzor and have a presence in Syria s vast Badia desert.

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