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Former rebel stronghold becomes ghost town

Monday, August 29, 2016 - 01:15

Video from the Damascus suburb of Daraya shows empty streets and crumpled buildings after the area was evacuated as part of an agreement between rebel fighters and the Syrian Army. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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NATURAL ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The Damascus suburb of Daraya has been left a ghost town, after the full evacuation began on Friday (August 26) under a deal that effectively surrendered the town to government forces. A Syrian Army general told reporters about 300 families of fighters were scheduled to leave the town on Friday, and in total about 700 fighters and 4,000 civilians would follow them on Saturday (August 27). The suburb now stands empty, its crumbled buildings and debris the picture of an area that's suffered heavily from a brutal four year siege. One of the damaged buildings is an important Shi'ite Shrine known as Sayeda Sukayna. Food was in such short supply in Daraya that some people were reportedly reduced to eating grass, the U.N.'s World Food Programme said. Daraya, just 7 km (4 miles) from central Damascus, and flanking an important military airbase, was one of the first places to see peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad before the five-year-old civil war began. Fighters in the suburb fought off repeated attempts to retake it by government forces as the conflict escalated.

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Former rebel stronghold becomes ghost town

Monday, August 29, 2016 - 01:15