"The SANA reporter noted that the gunmen had set fire to many of their headquarters and positions inside Daraya before their departure, just like their fellow militants did yesterday. The positions set ablaze contained computers and communication devices, proving that the gunmen had external affiliations, according to the reporter."
The truce that led to the liberation of Darayya (also spelled Daraya) has actually been on the way for months. In the biggest unreported story about the Syrian war in the Western press, many thousands of Syrian rebels from all over Syria have been accepting the government's terms to receive amnesty. This is in turn has robbed mercenary armies of rebels they control.
The story flew under the radar (except for those who've been closely following SANA and FARS war reports for the past year) because the numbers were rarely above 100 for these truce deals; often it was only 50 people or even less who showed up at an army station to have their status checked. But the numbers had been adding up, and their growth accelerated after Russia entered the campaign.
In fact, if Saudi Arabia and Qatar and their Western backers would call off their dogs, this war can wrap up in a matter of months because of the simple truth that Western and Gulf press keep omitting from their coverage of the war: Most Syrians never wanted to overthrow their government.
In fact, if the West would only throw Assad's government a few billion dollars, he could use it to provide make-work jobs for the many thousands of Syrians who don't want to fight anymore. In fact, lack of jobs is the biggest obstacle to peace right now.
As to whether this scenario could happen -- FARS is carrying a report today headlined. Saudi Arabia Preparing, Equipping 5,000 Al-Qaeda Terrorists to Fight Yemeni Army in Najran Province. Najran, for people who haven't been following the Yemen war, is in Saudi Arabia. Not all these fighters would be coming from Syria; see the report for details. But if the Saudis have to pull mercenaries from Syria to defend the province, which is under serious threat of falling, this could help the domino effect in Syria.
For now -- with or without the Yemen conflict, the following report gives real hope that Darayya is the turning point in the Syrian war.
August 28, 2016
"Liberation of Darayya is equal to enhancing security in areas around the capital, Damascus. It will also help disengage 2,500 soldiers of the fourth division who will be able to join their comrades in other battlefields," the analyst said.
"In a domino-like pattern, the Syrian army will gain the upper hand against the terrorist groups across the province from Jobar, Khan Shieh, al-Mo'adhamiyeh, and Mokheim Yarmouk to Eastern and Western Ghouta, Douma and the province's borders with Quneitra and Dara'a and Jordan," the analyst further added.
"Liberation of Darayya can start the countdown for the final collapse of terrorism and extremism in the country," the analyst underlined.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed on Sunday that 120 more militants have voluntarily left the Damascus suburb of Darayya with their families.
The reported departure comes shortly after Syrian state television announced that a four-year of siege of the area had drawn to a close.
"120 militants and their family members, 230 persons in total, have left Darayya city of their own free will. They headed to Idlib ... on buses," the ministry said in a statement on its website.
The Defense Ministry also added that 265 civilians, purportedly mostly women, children and the elderly, had been taken to a settlement in the Damascus province.
Here's more on the liberation of Darayya, from an August 27 report at SANA:
Damascus Countryside, SANA- The second phase of the implementation of the agreement which was reached to evacuate Daraya city in western Ghouta of weapons and gunmen ended on Saturday in preparation for the return of locals to it.
Speaking from inside Daraya, SANA reporter said that by ending the second phase, Daraya will be completely free of terrorists after evacuating the rest of locals to makeshift centers in Harjjaleh, in addition to evacuating the rest of gunmen with their families to Idleb countryside.
The reporter noted that the gunmen had set fire to many of their headquarters and positions inside Daraya before their departure, just like their fellow militants did yesterday.
The positions set ablaze contained computers and communication devices, proving that the gunmen had external affiliations, according to the reporter.
Tens of buses had entered the city earlier today to evacuate more people and gunmen.
Those buses transporting families have already left the city towards the makeshift centers, while others transporting gunmen and their family members have headed towards Idleb city, after being searched at army checkpoints as they cannot take any medium or heavy weapons with them.
Later, Governor of Damascus Countryside Alaa Ibrahim toured some neighborhoods in Daraya city and inspected the situation there, telling the reporters that engineering teams will be sent to the city to set up plans for reconstruction there.
The governor noted that the evacuated families are being located to a makeshift center in al-Hirjalleh village in al-Kiswa area to the south of Damascus.
The center includes 724 housing places, 300 of which are fully equipped and prepared, according to Ibrahim.
The governor said that the Sub-Committee for Relief in Damascus Countryside provided all needed supplies for locals of Daraya in Herjjaleh in cooperation with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) in addition to providing health care and other necessary services.
The governor pointed out that Daraya locals, who were besieged for years, are now under the protection of the Syrian state, adding that during the coming days, service infrastructure which was destroyed in the city by terrorism will be gradually rehabilitated in preparation for the return of locals to their houses.
On Friday, a field commander told reporters that a number of gunmen wanted to have their legal status settled, noting that the Syrian government has agreed to this in accordance to the laws and regulations.
For his part, head of media department in the political administration Brigadier General Sameer Suleiman said in a statement to reporters that the achievements of the Syrian Arab Army in Daraya come within the framework of the achievements made on the ground in the war against terrorism.
This achievement is a new proof of the ability and will of the Syrian Army that is determined to defeat terrorism completely and restore security and stability to every part of the Syrian territories in addition to the ability of the Syrian people who love life and who are able to achieve all objectives, Suleiman added.
On Friday and Saturday, all locals were evacuated of Daraya to makeshift centers in Herjjaleh, while 700 gunmen were evacuated with their families to Idleb countryside after handing over their heavy and medium weapons to the army units which carried out recently intensive operations against dens of terrorists who were forced to surrender.