Syria's military said Wednesday it has restored government control over a large area in central Syria, securing a power station, a refinery and a cement factory after uprooting the armed opposition.
The withdrawal may also be the last in a series of agreed evacuations used by the government to defeat the Takfiri insurgents by forcing them to surrender territory in return for safe passage to opposition areas in the north.
Al-Ikhariya TV showed Syrian government forces men raising the country's official flag over a building in a village in northern Homs. According to the agreement, Russian Federation military police were to deploy in the evacuated areas.
"The last convoy of terrorists and their families exits northern Homs province and southern Hama province", SANA reported.
"For the first time since 2011, Damascus, its suburbs, Homs and Hama provinces are for the most part controlled by the government, except for small pockets of Islamic State militants at the edge of the desert to the east near the Iraqi border and in Yarmouk camp south of Damascus as well as some rebel fighters in northern Hama", said Rami Abdurrahman, the head of the Observatory.
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"As of today, there is not one gunman left, no weapons left in the whole of Homs province", the province's governor, Talal Barazai, told AFP in Rastan.
The governor vowed that the Damascus-Hama highway would reopen "in the coming days".
This latest victory over hardline Islamist militants, who have plagued Syria for over six years, was hailed by the Syrian Army General Command as a highly strategic victory. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.
Since February, the Syrian army, backed by Russian Federation, has been engaged in a major push to rid Damascus and the surrounding areas of terrorist groups.
In April, Syrian forces managed to retake the Eastern Ghouta and Eastern Qalamoun regions near the capital.