DAMASCUS, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad performed the holiday prayers in a war-torn town near the capital Damascus on Monday, state news agency SANA reported.

Assad prayed the special prayers of the Eid al-Adha holiday, or the Feast of Sacrifice, in the town of Daraya, which has recently witnessed the evacuation of rebels, who had been controlling it for nearly four years.

The move came apparently as a show of confidence, as the town was a main stronghold for the armed insurgents.

Last month, hundreds of rebels evacuated Daraya under a deal they concluded with the Syrian army.

The rebels and their families left for the rebel-held city of Idlib, while civilians who wanted to stay with the government were taken to government-run shelters south of Damascus.