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Syrian troops begin new offensive against IS in southern Damascus

Bashar Assad’s forces are seeking to isolate the extremists in the area of Hajar Aswad.

Syrian government forces and their allies have launched a new offensive against Islamic State (IS) in southern Damascus.

State-run al-Ikhbariya TV said the aim of Monday’s move is to isolate IS in the southern Damascus area of Hajar Aswad from nearby areas held by the extremists.

Hundreds of IS militants hold parts of the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk and nearby Hajar al-Aswad in southern Damascus.

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A convoy of buses carrying rebels and their family leaves the eastern Qalamoun region in the Damascus countryside (SANA/AP)

The extremists agreed to give up their last pocket there on Friday but have yet to begin surrendering to government forces and relocating to IS-held areas elsewhere in the country.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 11 people have been killed in the offensive since the fighting began last Thursday.

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