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BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:45 A.M.) – The strategic town of Al-Zabadani in the western countryside of Damascus has been declared free of militants today after the remaining 1,000+ jihadists and their families exited the area.

According to a local military source, the jihadist rebels set ablaze several buildings inside of Al-Zabadani, leaving entire neighborhoods overwhelmed by fire.

Some militants still remain at the outskirts of town, but they are expected to be transported to Idlib in the coming days.

While the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has not yet entered the town, they are expected to send in their demining units to make sure Al-Zabadani is free of any explosives left by the militants.

Al-Zabdani is strategically located near the Lebanese border-crossing and overlooks much of Damascus’ western countryside; it was one of the first towns captured by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in 2011.

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