Syrian Regime Regains Damascus as ISIS Members Leave Yarmouk Camp

Israel has been acting as a de facto air force of the militants for some time but its extensive raids on May 10 were its most brazenly direct engagement in Syria's fight on terrorism.

Gen. Ali Mayhoub, a Syrian army spokesman, declared Damascus and its surroundings "completely secure" on Monday.

Assad was on a surprise visit to Russian Federation.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed Monday that about 1,600 people, including hundreds of ISIS gunmen, left the area Saturday and Sunday aboard 32 buses, heading toward the desert in the east of the country.

Assad's refusal to accept any weakening of his power shows he "does not want a political solution", said Yahya al-Aridi, a spokesman for the main Syrian opposition group.

Smoke rises after Syrian government airstrikes and shelling hit in Hajar al-Aswad neighbourhood held by Islamic State militants, southern Damascus, Syria.

The spokesman went on to say that within the framework of the first joint commission of the JCPOA, which is expected to be held without the USA presence in the coming days at Iran's request, Tehran and the remaining sides will only discuss the JCPOA and the issues related to the deal. The spring saw thousands of rebel fighters surrender and board crammed buses out of eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, following weeks of bombardment.

The extremists have been driven from almost all the territory they once held in Syria and neighbouring Iraq, but still maintain a presence in remote areas along the border.

"No one can force Iran to do anything".

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Thursday that "foreign armed forces" would leave Syria, according to Syria's state-run news agency, SANA.

While underlining that the Syrian government has approved Iran's military presence on its territory, Ghasemi said that "those who came to Syria without permission from the Syrian government and violated its territorial integrity should leave".

Iranian officials have vowed to stay on in Syria for as long as needed, setting the stage for a potential confrontation, as Washington seeks to tighten the screws on Tehran after the USA withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal brokered with Iran under President Barack Obama and world powers.

  • Rogelio Becker