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4 Dec, 2016 11:29

Over 2,500 Syrian militants granted amnesty over past week – Reconciliation Center

Over 2,500 Syrian militants granted amnesty over past week – Reconciliation Center

Over 2,500 militants who ended their fight against Syrian government forces have been pardoned over the last week under a blanket amnesty promised by Damascus, the Russian Center for Reconciliation reported.

The latest group of pardoned fighters comes from the city of Al-Tall, which has surrendered to pro-Damascus forces, the report said.

The militants that chose to take the amnesty offered by Syria’s president ceased their resistance and gave notice that they intended to leave for Idlib with their families, the Center reported. “Before leaving, they handed the heavy weapons in their possession over to government forces, as well as over 200 small arms and ammunition.”

The ceasefire deal involved some 500 militants that had been fighting with jihadist Al-Nusra Front, as well as 1,500 members of their families, the report said.

The government provided 44 buses to transport them, the center added.

Earlier on Friday, another town near Damascus, Khan al-Shih, changed hands after the militants holding it agreed to leave and move to Idlib with their families. The Reconciliation Center said at the time that fighters from various groups in Syria have been persuaded to take Damascus’ amnesty offer by the successes of the government’s forces in Aleppo.

Over the past weeks, a large part of the city’s territory that had been under the control of armed groups for years has been recaptured by Syrian government forces. Amid the breakthrough in the divided city, Washington presented Russia with new proposals on how to resolve the conflict in Aleppo “that are in line with the suggestions of Russia’s experts,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday.

READ MORE: Kerry finally presented proposals on Aleppo in line with Russia’s stance - Lavrov

The previous such attempt in October failed, with Moscow accusing the US of failing to force the so-called ‘moderate opposition’ to stop mingling with jihadists.