Middle East

Syrian police deploy forces in southern Damascus after Daesh rout

Syrian police forces have been deployed across neighborhoods south of the capital Damascus, a day after government troops and allied fighters from popular defense group purged the districts from members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that units of the Internal Security Forces entered al-Hajar al-Aswad district, located just 4 kilometers (2.4 miles) south of the center of Damascus, on Tuesday morning, and raised the national Syrian flag over a number of buildings there.

Bomb disposal units then launched an operation to clear the area of hidden explosive devices and ordnance left behind by Daesh militants.

Major General Issam Shehadeh al-Hallaj, the chief police commander in the region, said security forces have started to carry out their national duties in preserving security in the liberated areas.

Later in the day, security forces were deployed in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, and brandished the national flag on several government buildings in the region.

On Monday, the General Command of the Syrian Army and Armed Forces announced in a statement that complete security was restored to Damascus and its countryside after al-Hajar al-Aswad district and al-Yarmouk camp had been totally cleansed of Daesh terrorists.

The development was preceded by flushing the Takfiris out of the towns of Yalda, Babbila and Beit Sahem on the southern outskirts of Damascus.

Syrian army troops and pro-government fighters had been fighting since April 19 to recapture the area covering Yarmouk camp and the adjacent districts of Qadam, Tadamun and al-Hajar al-Aswad.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy 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 country.

The Syrian government, backed by Russian warplanes, has managed to liberate swathes of territory it lost following the outbreak of the crisis from the control of the terrorists.

Since February, the Syrian army, backed by Russia, has been engaged in a major push to rid Damascus and the surrounding areas of terrorist groups.

In a significant victory early last month, the Syrian army managed to fully liberate Eastern Ghouta, which had long been controlled by militant groups and served as a launch pad for deadly rocket attacks against residents and civilian infrastructure in the capital.


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