>> The first deal to evacuate rebels from Eastern Ghouta, the last rebel bastion near Damascus. Fighters from one rebel group have agreed to lay down their arms and leave Harasta, the town they control, that's according to Reuters sources. In return, safe passage to an opposition held area in the north.
Harasta is one of three zones in Eastern Ghouta. The deal brokered by Russia will pile pressure on the rebels that control the other two to follow suit. It's not clear when it will be implemented.>>
> Last week the Syrian Army and Allied Forces said they'd retaken 70% of Eastern Ghouta.
Defeating the enclave would be the worst setback for the anti-Assad rebellion since Aleppo fell just over a year ago. The army assault backed by Russian air power, which began last month, has killed hundreds of people. On Wednesday, Russia said it had opened a humanitarian corridor near Harasta. After weeks of bombardment, residents are fleeing the densely populated area by the thousand.
Another sign that the government sense victory, President Bashar al-Assad drove into Ghouta on Sunday to tour the captured areas and meet his troops. Assad has vowed to end what he calls a terrorist threat near his seat of power in Damascus.