Syria war: Rebels start leaving Damascus district of Barzeh

Up to 1,500 people were expected to leave the Barzeh district in the north-east of the capital on Monday, a monitoring group said.

Most are being transported to the rebel-held northern province of Idlib.

The deal comes two days after powers backing opposing sides in Syria's war created four "de-escalation" zones.

Russia and Iran - allies of President Bashar al-Assad - signed a memorandum with Turkey, a key opposition supporter, calling for:

Russia: If Syria asks us to send troops, we'll consider it

Dmitry Peskov spoke in response to comments by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, who denied reports that Russian combat troops were fighting with Syrian troops, but said Syria would ask for Russia's help if needed.

If such a request is made, it will be "discussed and considered," Peskov said.

Syria activists: 20 killed in airstrikes on Damascus suburb

President Bashar Assad's forces have been pounding Douma from the skies for over a week. The sprawling suburb is home to the Jaysh al-Islam rebel group, also known as Islam Army.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 20 people were killed in the latest airstrikes Saturday. Other groups including the Local Coordination Committees and the Douma Revolution Facebook page put the death toll at 50. Such discrepancies are normal in the aftermath of chaotic strikes in Syria.