Moscow claims return of more than 40000 people to Syria's Ghouta

Regime forces walk along a destroyed street in the former rebel-held town of Jobar in Eastern Ghouta

Indicating divisions in Jaish al-Islam, a Syrian military source told Reuters some of the fighters were rejecting the deal and the regime army would use force unless they accepted it.

Elsewhere in Syria, Russian and Syrian military officers told rebels in Eastern Qalamoun, about 25 miles northeast of Damascus, they must accept regime rule or leave.

Syrian state media said Monday that the largest rebel group in the suburbs of Damascus has begun evacuating its last stronghold after seven years of war, but the rebels refused to say whether they had surrendered, and it was unclear who was on board a dozen buses seen leaving the town.

The towns are located in a section of the Turkish-Syrian frontier where Turkey has carved out a buffer zone controlled on the ground by its military and allied fighters from Free Syrian Army rebel groups that are hostile to Assad.

The government offensive on Ghouta has been one of the deadliest of the war, killing more than 1,600 civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Earlier, Russian reconciliation center for Syria said that a total of 153,140 people have been evacuated from the area of Eastern Ghouta since the introduction of humanitarian pauses on February 28.

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The Syrian military could not immediately be reached for comment. The humanitarian operation to provide help to the Eastern Ghouta population will end in several days, said Colonel General Sergei Rudskoy, head of the Main Operations Directorate of the Russian General Staff, on Wednesday.

The Syrian government has advanced steadily into Eastern Ghouta, starting with villages and towns in the east before regime forces split the rebel-held areas of the suburb into three parts last week. More than 120,000 others have fled their homes and sought safety with the government, according to Russia's military operation in Syria. The source said on Tuesday the government had set a deadline for militants to leave Douma, without saying how long.

The opposition has been negotiating with Russian Federation, a key ally of Assad, for days on an agreement to evacuate Douma.

It said Russia, Iran, and Turkey - which have negotiated local settlements in different parts of Syria - would oversee the handover of prisoners held by the Army of Islam to the government. Turkey, with support from rebels, is running its own military operations against a US -backed Kurdish party that controls territory along the frontier.

Bilal Abu Salah, a media activist in Douma, said Tuesday that the convoy of buses entering Jarablus contained humanitarian cases, including injured members of Jaish al-Islam.

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