Government forces regain full control of central Syria as militants surrender

A woman gestures as she stands on rubble of damaged buildings in Raqqa

A woman gestures as she stands on rubble of damaged buildings in Raqqa Syria

More than 30,000 have left northern Homs and southern Hama in the last few days alone, while the majority of the displaced came from the eastern Ghouta suburbs near Damascus.

Militants in a number of towns and villages in the provinces of Homs and Hama withdrew after they agreed to leave to other parts of Syria, or surrendered to government forces and remained in the area, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported on Wednesday, citing an announcement by the Syrian Army's General Command.

"The courageous armed forces, with support from allies, have completed the clearing of 1,200 (463 sq. miles) in rural Northern Homs and Southern Hama, and have restored security to 65 villages and towns", said Brig.

This latest victory over hardline Islamist militants, who have plagued Syria for over six years, was hailed by the Syrian Army General Command as a highly strategic victory.

The Syrian government on Tuesday airdropped leaflets on the southern province of Daraa calling on rebels and civilians in the area to surrender to government forces, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

Syrian government flags were also raised on state institutions in the northern countryside of Homs and the southern countryside of Hama.

"We declare from the area that we have triumphed over terrorism and we declare that we have overpowered terrorism from Homs province", the unnamed officer told Al-Ikhbariya.

As a result of the evacuation and reconciliation deal, government forces successfully recovered 1,200 square kilometers of territory in central Syria, including 65 towns and villages.

A small pocket in southern Homs province, near the border with Iraq, is controlled by USA -backed rebels. He said the threat of "terrorist attacks" in Syria persists and that Russian warships equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles will remain stationed in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Syrian government retook one of the last districts held by the so-called Islamic State south of the capital on Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reported.

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