Russia says deal expected with more rebels in Syria's Ghouta

The Russian Defense Ministry says it expects to reach an agreement with a major Syrian rebel group to arrange its exit from the last rebel-held town in eastern Ghouta.

Lt. Gen. Stanislav Gadzhimagomedov told Russian news agencies on Monday in Syria that Russia's military is in talks with the Army of Islam, the largest and most powerful group in eastern Ghouta, for it to leave the town of Douma.

Gadzhimagomedov says he expects the Russian military to "take them out soon" and that the rebels have reportedly indicated their willingness to lay down their arms.

Thousands of rebel fighters and their families have left three eastern Ghouta pockets in the past weeks, after years of siege and weeks of heavy bombardment by the Syrian army and Russia's air force.