Syrian rebels say discussing evacuation from territory near Israel

By REUTERS
December 27, 2017 20:21
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BEIRUT - Syrian rebels in a pocket of land near where the Syrian, Lebanese and Israeli borders meet are negotiating a deal with the government to leave for other insurgent-held areas, rebel officials there said.

The Syrian army, backed by Russian air power, Shi'ite militias supported by Iran and local fighters from the Druse sect have besieged the rebel enclave around Beit Jin for weeks. In recent days it captured various positions, leaving the rebels trapped inside the town itself.

"There is now negotiation on the departure of fighters and those who wish to leave with them," said Abu Kanaan, an official in a local rebel group.

"The militias are trying to convince them to evacuate to Idlib... There has been no agreement reached yet," said Ibrahim al-Jebawi, an official with a Free Syrian Army faction familiar with the situation.

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