BEIRUT – The Latest on the Syrian conflict (all times local):
Syria's military says it has retaken the last neighborhoods in southern Damascus held by the Islamic State group and is declaring the capital and its surroundings "completely safe" and free of any militant presence.
In an army statement broadcast on Syrian TV Monday, Gen. Ali Mayhoub says the army captured the former IS strongholds in the Palestinian Yarmouk camp and Hajar al-Aswad after a monthlong campaign.
The gains by President Bashar Assad's troops bring greater Damascus — including its far-flung suburbs — fully under government control for the first time since the war began in 2011.
Mayhoub says "Damascus and its surroundings are completely secure."
The fighting in southern Damascus has left scores of dead on both sides and caused massive destruction in the Yarmouk camp, which was a built-up residential area, and its surroundings.
Syrian state TV says that government forces are to resume their offensive against the Islamic State group in the south of the capital, after evacuating a group of civilians from the area.
The TV quotes an unnamed military official as saying that a truce was in place to evacuate women, children and elderly people on Sunday night from Damascus' southern neighborhood of Hajar al-Aswad.
The official says the cease-fire ends at noon on Monday, after which government forces will resume their operations in the Hajar al-Aswad and the nearby Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group, said some IS fighters were permitted to leave Yarmouk and the adjacent al-Tadamon neighborhood. Syria's state media denied a deal was reached to evacuate fighters.