Dozens Killed in New Offensive as Eastern Ghouta Evacuation Deal Crumbles

08 April, 2018, 01:12 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Dozens Killed in New Offensive as Eastern Ghouta Evacuation Deal Crumbles

Earlier, the Syrian State TV reported that Jayish al-Islam militants shelled the town of Douma in the Damascus suburb.

On Friday, opposition activists said 40 people were killed in Douma while state media said four were killed in government-held Damascus.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces began an offensive against rebel groups in eastern Ghouta, where Douma is located, in February.

A total of 2,963 militants and their families evacuated Douma in three batches over the past few days under a deal concluded between the Islam Army and the Syrian government forces under a Russian mediation.

A deal struck on Sunday saw 3,000 Jaish al Islam fighters and civilians evacuated from Douma on buses
A deal struck on Sunday saw 3,000 Jaish al Islam fighters and civilians evacuated from Douma on buses

The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media said government forces captured several farms Saturday on the southern and western edges of the city that is home to tens of thousands of people.

SANA correspondent said that units of the Syrian Arab Army responded to the attacks by striking the areas from which the shells were launched, inflicting heavy losses upon the armed groups.

Director General of al-Mouwasat Hospital, Dr. Issam Zakarya al-Ameen, said that the center's ER received six bodies of martyred civilians including a child and 32 injured people, 10 of them with serious wounds.

More than 42,000 rebels and civilians are evacuated to Idlib. "We don't know where we're going, and rumours are flying in the town", said a resident reached by phone who gave his name as Mohammed.

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There are tens of thousands of people estimated to be living in Douma, according to Reuters.

Some have already returned to their devastated neighbourhoods, while others are staying in crowded shelters. Militants of the Jaysh al-Islam group attacked the positions of governmental forces, resumed mortar and missiles attacks at Damascus.

The group appears to have little leverage however to face the regime's recovered might, and the latest strikes raised fears of a brutal end to the five-year-old siege of Eastern Ghouta.

The Britain-based Observatory said warplanes were hitting across Douma today, as regime artillery fire hit neighbouring agricultural fields.

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Top Jaish al-Islam political figure Mohammad Alloush yesterday blamed worldwide supporters of Syria's government for hamstringing the talks.

It remains unclear exactly why the talks fell apart this week.

But as talks dragged on, Syria and its Russian ally threatened Jaish Al Islam with a renewed military assault if they did not agree to withdraw.

Firefighters try to extinguish a fire after a terror attack, which was carried out with a bomb-laden vehicle, near the Grand mosque in Al Bab district of Aleppo, Syria on April 07, 2018. "Their only shared interests is the blood of civilians", he said.

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According to Yevtushenko, now "Syrian governmental forces are liberating the city of Douma from uncompromising rebel groups".

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