Hundreds of Islamic State militants are expected to be evacuated from the besieged southern Damascus suburbs due to a UN-brokered deal that was suspended late December 2015, following the killing of Army of Islam commander Zahran Alloush in a Russian air strike.
Zaman al-Wasl sources said the first batch of Free Syrian Army fighters have entered Hajer al-Aswad district on Sunday to replace ISIS militants who are expected to leave the area for Raqqa city, the Islamic State's de facto capital in Syria.
Syrian authorities agreed to the evacuation in the hope of reasserting control of the strategic area where fighters from other factions are also lodged, only 4 km south of central Damascus, according to Reuters.
Residents of the nearby Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp are looking for a similar deal to push Nusra Front fighters to leave the camp in order to lift the siege.
Regime forces have imposed a suffocating siege over Yarmouk that has squeezed the flow of food and humanitarian aid to the area.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.