TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The Syrian army command said on Saturday it had regained most of the towns and villages in eastern Ghouta and was pressing its military operations in the last rebel bastion of Douma.
In a televised statement, the Syrian army spokesman said the weeks-long military campaign had now brought security to the Syrian capital, Damascus, and also secured its main links to other parts of the country, stretching north and all the way to the Iraqi border to the east, Reuters reported.
A last group of families had earlier left the main towns of Jobar, Zamalka, Arbeen and Ain Tarma after the fall of other towns, leaving only the city of Douma still in rebel hands.
Footage on state television showed top army commanders entering by the same route the militant convoys had used to leave.
Tens of thousands of people have now evacuated once-bustling towns in the suburbs east of the capital, which had nearly 2 million people before the start of the conflict and were major commercial and industrial hubs.
The army command said military operations were continuing in the outskirts of the city of Douma, controlled by the Jaish al-Islam Takfiri group, the last patch of eastern Ghouta still held by terrorists.
Douma’s fall would seal the terrorists’ worst defeat since 2016, driving them from their last big stronghold near the capital.
President Assad said recently securing eastern Ghouta had foiled plots by his foreign enemies to topple him.
“The gains have been achieved after units of the army eliminated hundreds of terrorists, their headquarter and their fortifications,” the army statement said.
Douma is surrounded by Syrian forces, many of whom were elite forces from the Republican Guards and special army units, who have been amassing troops in recent days, trying to reach an evacuation agreement with the militants.
Tens of thousands of civilians remain in Douma, which is the largest urban center in the enclave, facing worsening humanitarian conditions under the rebels.