Middle East

Syria’s president visits troops in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has visited army positions and talked to Syrian forces in Eastern Ghouta suburb of the capital Damascus, Syrian state news agency SANA reports.

“President Assad with the heroes of Syrian Arab Army at the frontlines in Eastern Ghouta,” the caption of the photo released by SANA said.

Photos released by Syria’s official news agency showed President Assad surrounded by a crowd of men in military clothing, some perched on top of tanks.

The photographs were taken in a street lined with damaged building fronts with a couple of parked tanks.

Syria and Russia have cornered foreign-backed militants in the countryside as part of their campaign to liberate civilians holed up there and end militant attacks from the suburb on Damascus.

During their advances in the area, Syrian forces have uncovered workshops used to make chemical weapons. The Syrian military has also intercepted several arms and ammunition cargoes heading to Eastern Ghouta.

Earlier on Sunday, Syrian army gave foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists operating inside Harasta town of the Eastern Ghouta enclave to withdraw till 3 p.m. local time (1300 GMT).

The report came shortly after Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that thousands of civilians, whom extremists were using as human shields to slow down the progress of government forces and their allied fighters from popular defense groups, have managed to leave Eastern Ghouta.

Syrian army soldiers have started an operation to comb Saqba town, located 7 kilometers east of central Damascus, of hidden explosive devices planted by Takfiri militants in the area.

Syrian government forces are now pursuing the remnants of terrorist organizations in the towns of Kafr Batna and Saqba in the southern outskirts of Eastern Ghouta.

The Syrian army said recently it had captured 70 percent of Eastern Ghouta, after splitting the area into sections to facilitate the battle against various militant groups there.

Eastern Ghouta, a besieged area on the outskirts of Damascus which is home to some 400,000 people, has witnessed deadly violence over the past few days, with foreign-sponsored terrorists launching mortar attacks on the Syrian capital in the face of an imminent humiliating defeat.


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