Syrian Arab Army liberates largest town in Ghouta

Randolph Lopez
March 11, 2018

The International Committee of the Red Cross said the close-range fighting came despite security guarantees from the parties involved in the conflict that humanitarian aid could enter the town of Douma, in eastern Ghouta.

Syrian state TV showed pictures on Friday of what it said was a number of fighters boarding a bus to leave the enclave. "But then air strikes began again, and there are still people under the rubble that we couldn't get out".

Both the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, and a military media unit run by the Government's ally Hezbollah said the army had captured the town of Mesraba and advanced into surrounding farms.

It is hard for aid convoys to reach eastern Ghouta and the worldwide community is failing to intervene.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian Federation, his main ally, say the campaign is needed to end rebel shelling of Damascus and to end the rule of Islamist insurgents over the area's civilians.

But the government of President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to continue military operations, as it regards nearly all rebel groups as terrorists.

"It has been agreed that the first group of HTS members be released from the prisons of Jaish al-Islam ..."

Hamza Hassan, a surgeon working at one of the hospitals in eastern Ghouta, said that staff was overwhelmed with chlorine odour and that he treated 29 children with breathing problems.

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The two largest rebel groups in the area, Jaish al-Islam and Failaq al-Rahman, have yet to comment on the report, Reuters stated today.

An aid convoy managed to deliver food to hunger-stricken Eastern Ghouta on Friday despite renewed bombardment by Syrian regime forces who have seized more than half of the besieged rebel enclave. Another man said there were 15 families in the basement who have been hiding for days.

Eastern Ghouta's 400,000 inhabitants have lived under government siege since 2013 and the enclave - more than half of which has over the past three weeks been retaken by regime forces - is home to a myriad of armed groups.

The rebels in Eastern Ghouta are not one cohesive group.

The channel has been reporting since last week that rebels have prevented civilians from leaving.

"Living conditions are harsh".

State media have reported people in eastern Ghouta raising Syrian government flags and holding small protests in support of Assad.

Tens of thousands of people have fled further into the enclave in the face of the warfare, a United Nations official said on Thursday, and residents of Douma said shelters were crowded with the new arrivals.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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