Rebels in Syria started to leave under an evacuation deal

Bashar al-Assad prepares to assault last rebel enclave near Damascus

And today state television showed live footage of buses entering the town of Dumayr, northeast of Damascus, to bring out fighters and their families, while soldiers stood by the roadside.

Stephane Dujarric said the United Nations did not want to "telegraph" when a United Nations security team would return, "due to the volatility" of the situation on the ground.

The inspectors have delayed their visit to Douma after their security team were shot at during a reconnaissance trip on Tuesday, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said.

The Syrian government stepped up its efforts yesterday to retake the opposition's last besieged enclaves, as rebels prepared to withdraw from one and a newspaper reported an ultimatum against another.

A similar arrangement to have Islamic State militants evacuate their pocket inside the capital appeared to collapse on Thursday.

More than 1,500 civilians were killed in the offensive, which culminated in allegations of a chemical weapons attack on the town of Douma, with reports that more than 40 people were killed.

Government forces began bombarding the Hajr al-Aswad neighborhood and Yarmouk Palestinian camp inside Damascus only hours after reports surfaced that IS militants would be given two days to leave.

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Dreid said it was not clear why the deal appeared to have fallen through.

Dumayr is at the Qalamoun mountains, near the southern Ghouta region that came under complete government management every week soon after the alleged chemical weapon strike and also having a offensive. The Russian Defense Ministry has claimed the incident was staged by Britain and a Russian general in Syria says no evidence of chemical weapons has been found in Douma.

The observatory said there were also talks under way between Russian Federation and rebels over the fate of an enclave in central Syria around the town of Rastan.

Most Islamic State fighters were driven out of Syria a year ago.

And Iraq yesterday said its air force yesterday carried out a "deadly raid" against positions of the IS in Syria, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office said. The statement said the militants posed a threat to Iraq, without providing further details.

Under the agreement, the rebels are allowed to move with their families to opposition-held areas in the country's north, effectively surrendering their turf to Syrian government forces.

The state SANA news bureau states the Army of both Islam fighters and their own families are now departing city of Dumayr on Thursday.

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