0554 GMT March 17, 2018
Some three weeks after the commencement of a full-scale offensive aimed at liberating Eastern Ghouta from the grips of Takfiri terrorists, the Syrian troops succeeded in taking the control of more than half of the volatile enclave, moving closer to recapturing the region rests on the edge of Damascus.
The government forces have already managed to slice the enclave in three isolated pockets, making it extremely difficult for terrorists to move from a section to another as reinforcement.
According to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the army troopers and pro-government forces on Monday used Medeira, a town retaken a day earlier, as a “launching pad” to carry out a fresh attack on militants in an attempt to push against areas closest to the capital.
The other two areas, which are still in militant’s hands, are Douma, the enclave’s largest town to the north, and the zone around Hammuriyeh and other towns to the south.
Militant groups active inside the enclave, particularly the so-called Jaish al-Islam Takfiri outfit and the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, are still trying to prevent civilians from leaving the enclave as they constantly target the safe passages of al-Wafideen and Jisreen with shells and explosive bullets.
On Sunday, at least four civilians lost their lives and nearly a dozen others sustained injuries after Nusra Front terrorists shelled residential neighborhoods in and around Damascus with mortar fire.
Eastern Ghouta, a besieged area on the outskirts of Damascus with some 400,000 people, has witnessed deadly violence over the past few weeks, as Takfiri terrorist outfits have launched mortar attacks on the Syrian capital in the face of an imminent humiliating defeat, killing around dozens of civilians in past three weeks.
One killed as people protest against militants in Ghouta
Also on Monday, dozens of people in Kafr Batna, a town located in southern parts of Eastern Ghouta near the capital, staged a rally against the presence of foreign-backed militants wreaking havoc in the flashpoint region. They also shouted slogans, such as “Syrian nation and army are united” or “God bless the army”, voiced their full support of the efforts government trooped exerted to liberate the enclave from the clutches of terrorists.
At least one protester lost his life after militants went on a shooting spree against the demonstrators. Reports also said that several people were also wounded in the process.
‘Over half a million people killed since 2011 in Syria’
The UK-based SOHR which is sympathetic to the anti-Damascus militants, reported on Monday that around 511,000 people had been killed in Syria since the onset of foreign-backed militancy some seven years ago.
The so-called monitor further said that it had succeeded in identifying only more than 350,000 of those killed.
Syria has been gripped by militancy caused by multiple factions and groups since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the Arab country.