Over 2,000 Rebels, Families Leave Damascus District in ‘Secret Evacuation’

Rebels Withdraw From Last Area in Qabun

Qabun was a long-standing possession of Syrian rebel factions, one of their main footholds in the Damascus suburbs, though their control over the area appears to have weakened substantially amid infighting between the rebels near the end of last month, followed by a military influx.

Rebel presence in Qabun quietly ended overnight, with a new report by Syria’s state media that over 2,000 people, rebels and their families, departed from Qabun overnight as part of a “secret evacuation deal” which came about after the military threatened to invade their last pocket of the area.

The rebels had been under growing pressure in Qabun over the week, as other recent deals to evacuate rebels from other nearby areas, a threat by the military to take them by force ultimately forced them to agree to another evacuation proposal.

Syria has increasingly relied on evacuation deals to avoid invading surrounded areas, saving them offensives that would have large death tolls and fuel international criticism. The evacuations are not without their critics too, of course, but the limited population transfers surrounding the separation of rebels and military forces is much easier to gloss over than the heavy fighting that seems to be the alternative.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • keith

    Evacuation of US trssined & funded terrorists and merc’s has proved successful. Syrian government keep their word and these predominantly Saudi Barbarian nationals can be removed from populated areas to places like Idleb near Turkey were they mostly becomes engaged in infighting.

    The Kurds made a successful deal with isis too the other day. Isis left the area in question and Kurds kept their word, their “ally” US however did not and shot the terrorists as soon as they were out of sight. Hence the Kurds will from now on thanks to that have to rely on fighting and dying only. US just made their word worthless.

    • Geronimo

      The word of the US has been worthless for quite sometime.

      Remember, the Indian chiefs used to say that the Great White Chief in Washington speaks with a forked tongue. And its only gotten worse since.

  • eric

    The traveling Jihadists that have shown their willing to commit violence to spread and promote the religion of peace must be put in prison . They can’t go free unpunished allowed to move home to recuperate for their next new conquest attempt . The war criminals that financed the traveling Jihadists , be they individuals , organizations , or governments should also face charges and punishments . There has to be some punishments for the crimes against peace . Surely the United Nations has rules against what is going on in Syria . It has to be against the law for foreign visitors to come into a country with guns to force a country to change leadership .

    • Luchorpan

      That’s also a topic I’m curious about.

    • Franklin

      The UN Charter is quite clear.

      “Article 1
      The Purposes of the United Nations are:

      To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;”


      The problem is that they relied on the Security Council to enforce this. And nowadays, the three most aggressive warmongerers in the world all have permanent vetos in the UNSC.

      The UN Charter is also a treaty signed by the US and ratified by the Senate. Which, under the Constitution, makes this the highest law in the land of equal importance to the Constitution.

  • Marcus

    Remember, whenever this website says “rebels”, mentally substitue “jihadists” in your head when reading.

    • Or actually use that thing in your head. In that area, the jihadists are rebels and vice versa, so you can use either term or both and be exactly as accurate.

  • Marcus

    Antiwar.com now thinks that a more peaceful settlement to a problem is something that needs a “gloss over”? Sounds like someone is dissapointed that there wasn’t mass casualties that could then be blamed on Assad? Ah, isn’t that sad.