Have retaken Eastern Ghouta, announces Syrian army

Annette Crawford
April 16, 2018

An army statement read by chief military spokesman Brig.

"This major victory in Douma and the eradication of terrorism from the entire Eastern Ghouta is a natural result of the people's embracement of the Syrian army when they took to the streets, urging the army to liberate them from terrorism", the military statement said.

To date, many weapons and ammunition factories and weapons depots have been found, along with many food depots, which have been monopolized by terrorists who starved and extorted locals, in addition to hospitals, medicine caches, and a large number of tunnels, the General Command said.

Syrian state TV carried live images of hourslong street celebrations with people dancing and chanting in support of their government's "steadfastness" following unprecedented joint airstrikes by the United States, France and Britain on Syria.

The Syrian army has declared that all anti-regime forces had left Eastern Ghouta, almost two months into a blistering offensive on the rebel enclave on the outskirts of the capital.

Assad's government, which has denied using chemical weapons, claims the US-led strikes violate global law.

"Jaish Al-Islam" said it only agreed to pull out of Douma after a suspected chemical attack on April 7 that appeared to break their will.

But the Syrian government also claims damage from the attack was limited, as its air defense shot down incoming missiles.

Douma is the main town in what at the start of the year was a sprawling semi-rural area just east of Damascus, home to nearly 400,000 inhabitants.

The army said almost 110 missiles hit targets in the capital Damascus and other territory, and air defence systems brought majority down.

The entry of government forces to Douma follows a Russian-mediated deal that secured the surrender and evacuation of the rebels and thousands of civilians from the town.

Hundreds of Syrians demonstrated in a landmark square of the Syrian capital, waving victory signs and honking their auto horns in a show of defiance.

The foreign ministry said earlier on Saturday that the US-led strikes would only "lead to inflaming tensions in the world" and threaten worldwide security.

In Damascus, the president's seat of power, hundreds of residents gathered in Omayyad Square, many waving Syrian, Russian and Iranian flags.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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